Summer is an awesome time of the year! Full of family gatherings, vacations and plenty of time outside. Kids will be out of school spending loads of time playing outdoors with their buddies. What one of the most popular and yet incredibly harmful activities kids love to do is jump on a trampoline. They are extremely dangerous if not used correctly. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly advises that even with nets: “Parents should never purchase a home trampoline or allow children to use home trampolines.” Children 6 and under should never bounce on a trampoline. But let’s face it someone in your neighborhood has a trampoline. Kids are just going to bounce and bounce without a care for their safety. The absolute worst thing children can do and will is jump with multiple friends at once. Double bouncing and playing “popcorn” doubly increases their chances of a severe injury. Even with adult supervision, the “one child bounce at a time” rule isn't necessarily in place. The statistic is that 75% of trampoline injuries occur when several kids are jumping at once. Also, many insurance companies won’t insure homeowners that have a trampoline on the premises and/or may not cover trampoline-related claims. Coverage is highly variable.
You might be asking yourself then, how bad can a trampoline be? They are super fun! It's simple physics really. A trampoline creates a rebounding force into the spine causing your joints to compress. The harder you jump, the more force it creates into the body thus increasing the chance of severe trauma to the body. While kids can maintain some control on the up motion, it’s the down motion that is harder to control. This is where injury usually happens. Lacerations, sprains to ligaments, strains to muscle fibers, broken arms and legs and hyperextended knees are just some of the injuries that can occur. And those are the minor ones! Avulsion fractures can occur where a fragment of bone tears away from the main mass of bone. Yikes! Not to mention the occurrence of concussions and disc herniations to the spinal structure. Furthermore, injuries sustained on a trampoline can be equal to or sometimes worse than an auto accident whiplash!
If you or your child have any soreness after bouncing on a trampoline, you can be sure that there has been damage to your body. It is imperative that you call a N.U.C.C.A. doctor immediately. The sooner, the better! N.U.C.C.A. is ideal for addressing trampoline injuries. The most important thing when injured is to realign the spine and extremities and allow them to heal properly. It takes muscles 4-6 weeks to recover, ligaments 6-8 weeks, and nerves 3-4 months. This can ruin summertime fun! We at Alpha Spine Center have seen 100’s of children over the years with minor to major injuries from bouncing on a trampoline. What is our advice to parents? Say no to trampolines (and bounce houses for that matter)! With the warmer weather upon us, we expect to see these preventable injuries. The statistics over the last couple of decades speak for themselves. Just because there isn’t an outright ban of these dangerous “toys” doesn’t mean they are safe. We urge you, parents, to ask yourselves whether a few minutes of “innocent," joyful bouncing is really worth the risk of a catastrophic injury to your child’s developing brain and bones.
By: Dr. Tanvi Desai, D.C.
Ever wondered why you bite your tongue while chewing or talking? Some cultures believe when you bite your tongue it is an indication of someone cursing at you. Which would not make sense for anyone that is a left brainer or anyone who requires the facts. When I began to wonder why I bite my tongue, I was one day talking and happened to which created a bump. As the day went by the bump never subsided. However, when I sat for dinner, I bit my tongue in the same spot AGAIN! Really?! Which brought the question up as what is the reasoning for anyone to bite their own tongue?
As a chiropractor, the most logical reasoning would be that there is a spinal misalignment, causing the jaw to shift from its original positioning. The atlas vertebrae sits directly behind the jaw or more specifically the mandible. When the atlas moves out of alignment, it takes up some of the space between the atlas and mandible (the area right below the ear). This causes the jaw to move out its original place (to create space) as it opens. Now the jaw opens in a slanted and zig- zag pattern confusing the tongue about its spatial placement while it makes specific movements as we talk and chew, thus compromising itself between the teeth. Ouch!
The opposite is true too that the jaw can cause the atlas to move out of alignment. The jaw's position is compromised by postural abnormalities created by tight and weak muscles in the neck and mouth region, therefore causing the atlas to move out of its way.
As NUCCA chiropractors that specialize in the atlas bone, we will analyze and understand its relationship to the mandible, and address the issue by aligning the spine first, and the jaw second. So do you really need to see your chiropractor for that?Yes, Of course! Your atlas is the outlet for all communication between your brain, spinal cord and the rest of your body. If the mechanics are disturbed by its misalignment, then there is an increased probability of pressure on the brainstem. Next time you catch yourself biting your tongue, come to the Alpha Spine Center to be sure everything is aligned.
As you may have noticed in the office, previous newsletters and promos we have been advertising the professional line of nutritional supplements, Designs for Health. We are so impressed with Designs for Health and the quality of their products. They specifically cater to partnering with healthcare professionals and their patients. Designs for Health guiding philosophy is “Science First.” As it states on their website, they are committed to “research-driven products, synergistic formulations, and meaningful quantities of therapeutic ingredients.” What this means is that you will be getting high-quality nutritional supplements and proven efficacy. In other words, supplements that work!
They have an extensive line of products covering a broad range of nutritional needs. They have multi-vitamins and minerals, delicious protein powders (vegan and paleo too), and more targeted supplements for needs such as thyroid support, arthritis, and cardiovascular issues. The list goes on and on. We highly recommend a visit to our Designs for Health professional store at www.alphaspinecenter.ehealthpro.com to get more information about this superior supplement company and their products. They have made it incredibly easy to order online. Please ask an ASC team member about these products and how you can get registered and started today! Patients will receive 20% off their first order. We can’t say enough about Designs for Health. Another means to achieve a balanced and healthy 2017!
Have you ever seen Will Smith’s movie Concussion? It depicts head traumas from sports related injuries that can create detrimental unseen damage to the brain and brain stem. Although sports injuries are the major cause of concussions; whiplash causing activities and motor vehicle accidents are just as prevalent in causing concussions.
Imagine riding a motocross cycle in the backwoods of Georgia with your son, and he is blasting ahead as you try to keep up. You are over 50 years old, and you are trying to relive your youth. Then your son and the other riders find themselves at the end of the trail near the cars, and you are nowhere to be found. An hour later you find yourself at the truck not realizing how you got there with a pounding headache. You feel dazed and confused and don't know that you hit your head from a fall. The dirt on one side of your body and scuff marks on the helmet is the sign that you had an accident and didn't remember a thing. You just had a concussion!
It is estimated every year that there are around 136,000 sports-related concussions just in young people alone. These incidences occur most often between the ages of 9 and 22. For 90% of these young people, their recovery time is one week. However, for the 10% (approximately 13,600) of young people who have prolonged periods of recovery, the post-concussive syndrome can become a concern. There are four prominent symptoms of PCS-- sleep, cognitive, emotional, and somatic. The percentage of these cases can range from 1.5% to 15% and can leave devastating results. This damage can lead to memory loss, intolerance to exercise, and neurocognitive dysfunction. PCS and brainstem trauma can both have a negative impact on the communication of the nervous system. They can also create headaches, nausea, dizziness, foggy thinking, lack of appetite, and neck pain.
Did you know the doctors at the Alpha Spine Center are well versed in diagnosing and detecting post-concussive syndrome and brain stem related injuries? In fact, the story shared earlier wasn't just a story made up to give an example but David Long's story, a patient, who called the Alpha Spine Center right away to receive the necessary care for his scary experience with a Concussion. Depending on the level of trauma we will determine whether they need to be referred out for a PET scan, to a neurologist or cared for at the Alpha Spine Center. If your child or loved one has ever had nausea, vomiting, unclear thoughts, repetitive thoughts, mood swings and dizziness after any head trauma; make sure you have them get checked from one of the doctors at the Alpha Spine Center to prevent long term damage to their nervous system.
While our bodies can create vitamins such as vitamin-K and vitamin-D internally, the essential vitamin, vitamin-C, cannot be. This vitamin, however, is one of the most crucial vitamins for our health; that is why it is so important that we include a vitamin-C supplement in our diets. Here are the top three reasons why:
1. Vitamin-C supplementation boosts immune function. Vitamin-C deficiencies are often lead to an increased frequency and duration of colds. While colds themselves are not all that dangerous, they can be a gateway to bigger and more critical illnesses, such as pneumonia. Without proper supplementation of vitamin-C, we put our bodies at risk for a weakened immune system.
2. Vitamin-C helps to energize and support our immune system. For instance, if we have an infection, our immune cells will send more vitamin-C to the area where our body needs it the most. That is why, if we have a deficiency, the duration of our illness increases.
3. Vitamin-C aids in the production of collagen. Collagen is a tissue your body needs for your bones, blood vessels, teeth, and gums. Collagen cannot build without vitamin-C. Our heart and blood vessels cannot function without collagen; therefore, vitamin-C is a vital nutrient for our health and well-being.
Because vitamin-C is water-soluble and excreted through urine and sweat, we need to replace it every day. That is why products such as BioFizz and Stellar C by Designs for Health are essential products for our daily routine. These products, taken as a daily dietary supplement, will boost your health and lead to optimal immunity.
Another day…you slowly get out of bed to the ringing alarm. You sleepily get ready and head off to work or school, or maybe you wake up at the crack of dawn to the baby crying. Perhaps you’ve eaten enough food, and gotten the sleep you need, but for some reason you still find yourself pouring cup after cup of coffee to combat a constant state of tiredness. Well, that’s because there is much more to our energy than just eating three square meals a day and getting 8 hours of sleep. Our emotional, mental, and chemical health has a tremendous effect on how much energy we have. Juggling a hundred different things at once, not dealing with strains in relationships, holding on to past regrets, and even living in an environment that makes it difficult to get moving (such as a cluttered house) are things that can cause us to feel fatigued. Here are a few little lifestyle changes and tips that can help you feel “up and at em” once again!
-Get enough sleep, about 8-10 Hours a night is recommended
-Want to feel less tired waking up? Avoid caffeine, alcohol, television, and big meals right before rest.
-EXERCISE! Regular activity boosts your energy, and it allows your body to relax and fall asleep more quickly and easily at night.
-Eat foods high in nutrients found in fruits and vegetables and if you don't think you are getting solid nutrition through your food consistently, supplement your diet with high-quality vitamins.
-Get outside! Sunlight tells your body to be active by releasing the hormone Serotonin.
-Manage your stress by giving yourself time and space to relax and clear the mind.
-Give your eyes and mind a break by getting away from the screens on your phones, TVs, and Computers. A British experiment showed that when people simultaneously juggle work and email, their measured IQs dipped by 10 points. Give yourself a break!
-Treat Yourself! Do something recreational that you love in balance with your hours at work.
“People who stick to a reasonable schedule and a regular regimen do better at fighting fatigue in the long run.” Says Rochelle Rosian, MD, a rheumatologist in Cleveland, OH.
All it takes is a little organization, and some small lifestyle changes, to get back the energy you need to make the most of each day. It is up to you so make the changes you need to live your life to the fullest!
Humans were designed to stand upright, yet in this day and age, we find ourselves spending hours hunched over the little screens of our smartphones. The average American spends 2 to 4 hours a day in this unnatural position while texting or scrolling through social media. That adds up to a whopping 700 to 1,400 hours a year!
"The success of social media is has led to an epidemic of bad smartphone posture." –Jessica Firger, CBS News
Over time, especially with children that are developing and growing, there is an incremental loss of the natural curve, leading to hunched postures. This, in turn, increases stress on the cervical spine, making us more vulnerable to degeneration, neck pain and tension, and lower quality of spinal health. Good posture is key to optimizing your health; it is defined as ears aligned with the shoulders, with the shoulder blades retracted. However, good posture goes beyond just our physical health. Studies have found that good posture elevates testosterone and serotonin in the body, and also reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Good posture has even been linked to personality traits such as tolerance for risk-taking. Not to mention it makes us appear more confident and looks better. It is a tough predicament to acknowledge because it is almost impossible to avoid the technologies that cause these issues. In the meantime, the best thing for you to do is encourage your kids to look at their phones with a neutral spine. (Ears over shoulder over hips). Moreover, maybe it is a caution to humanity that we need to put down the screens more often and be more present to the world around us.
Woo, it's time to get out of the office and into the pool or out on a sandy beach! Just don’t get too overexcited to get outside into the summer sun and forget to protect yourself, or else you’ll get that all too familiar red glow of sunburn! But, Instead of letting sunburn get you down about going outside, try these helpful tips to protect your skin from the sun's rays, alleviate burns, and even reduce the risk of cancer!
The first thing many people think to do slather themselves in sunscreen whenever they step outside the door! But not so fast! Some brands of commercially made sunscreen products contain various chemicals and pharmaceuticals that have the potential to cause cancer and reactions! The most problematic of sunscreen chemicals in the U.S. is oxybenzone, found in nearly every chemical sunscreen! EWG recommends that consumers AVOID this chemical because it can “penetrate the skin, cause allergic skin reactions, and may disrupt hormones!” According to WebMD, retinyl palmitate is another chemical you should look out for! Multiple lab tests have found a connection to skin cancer. On top of that, wearing sunscreen blocks the body's absorption of ultraviolet radiation that produces vitamin D in your skin! As studies have shown, Vitamin D prevents 77 percent of all cancers, so limit the amount and duration of time you wear sunblock! The best thing to do is to allow your skin some time to soak in direct sunlight before applying sunscreen. Check out this website for more detail on the amount of direct sunlight needed. (http://www.sunshinevitamin.org/) Also, try some natural brands or remedies to use! Coconut oil is a proven sunscreen that is not only good for blocking the rays but also promoting healthy skin!
If you do manage to get sunburned, try these remedies:
Remember, the BEST remedy is PREVENTION. Use a sunscreen without the harmful chemicals. A good alternative is a sun screen with Zink Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. Also, wear protective clothing such as rash guards (breathable long sleeve shirts, hats, etc.), and limit your exposure to direct sunlight![G1] [G2]
Water keeps every part of your body working! Between flushing out bodily wastes, helping your body maintain its temperature, and other important bodily functions, staying hydrated, especially during this summer heat, is a key component to living a healthy lifestyle! A common recommendation to stay hydrated is to drink six-eight 8oz glasses of water a day, but one thing we overlook is how the food we eat affects our hydration!
According to the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations we should eat 20 percent of our daily water intake. Soup, yogurt, and oatmeal are all great fluid-filled foods, but some of the best things to eat during these hot months are these fruits and veggies:
-Cucumbers- with 96.7% water content, its no wonder why they are considered a summer veggie! Serve with some hummus, or in a salad. Mix it in a tomato cucumber salad, tomatoes are also high in water content!
-Watermelon- not only is it 92% water, but watermelon has salt, calcium and magnesium that is ideal for rehydration, and it is a good source of potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C.
-Iceberg Lettuce- Usually shunned nutrition wise by health experts who recommend darker green, iceberg lettuce may not be as nutrient rich, but when it comes to water-content, it has the highest of any lettuce! Pile it on a sandwich or enjoy a delicious Ice Burg Wedge!
-Strawberries- they taste great on their own and in smoothies! Loaded with fiber and vitamin C, they also have the most water content of any berry! (92% water)
-Celery- 95 % water, high in fiber and minerals such as potassium and vitamin K. Make a veggie plate with other water-rich veggies such as fresh peppers, cauliflower, radishes, and tomatoes!
On top of eating these great foods, here are some other helpful methods to stay hydrated:
-Sports Drinks- Many people may reach for the sports drink for those extra electrolytes, and they are great for bringing the body back to balance after a grueling workout, but one great alternative is…
-Coconut Water- Unlike sports beverages; coconut water is low in carbohydrates, while still rich in potassium. And its unsweetened varieties can be very hydrating (assuming you like its unique taste).
-Coffee-Isn’t coffee a diuretic? Well, yes, but a recent study in PLOS ONE debunks the myth that it also causes dehydration. Not only will that morning cup of joe contribute to your water intake, coffee helps sharpen your memory, boost your athletic performance, and it contains antioxidants!
“Experts say that it's not true that beverages that have caffeine-such as coffee, tea, and cola drinks-always dehydrate you. Healthy people who consume moderate amounts of caffeine don't lose more fluid than people who don't have any caffeine.1 A moderate amount of caffeine is about 200 to 300 milligrams a day. That's about two to four 8-ounce cups of coffee.” –WebMD
Remember, drinking plenty of water is still plenty important to proper hydration. If you are unsure if you are dehydrated, some common signs that you need more water are fatigue, headaches, nausea, and dizziness. When in doubt, take a look at your pee! Urine should range from clear to a pale yellow color at most. If it is any darker, go drink some water!
Sure, you may have heard to take a little stretch before a run, but oftentimes stretching is put on the back burner of daily activities. I mean after all, the exercise is the main focus, and the main benefit… Right?
Not so fast! Improving your flexibility will allow you to improve your athletic performances and the range of motion in your joints! Not only will this help you enjoy a better work out by increasing the blood flow to your muscles, it will enable your muscles to move more effectively and decrease the risk of injury from daily wear and tear on your body.
It is very important to use the right techniques to avoid straining your muscles and harming your spinal health. When you aren’t careful, stretching can do more harm than good.
Here are some tips on how to stretch properly:
-Don’t stretch cold muscles, warm them up with some light jogging or a warm up exercise to loosen the muscle fibers.
-Stretch both sides of your body equally! If you are less flexible on one side, that is totally normal, just keep on treating both sides equally, and it will even out over time.
-Stretch in one smooth movement; don’t bounce the stretch, or you could get injured.
-One of the most important: MAKE SURE TO BREATHE! Inhale and Exhale at an average pace, don’t use hurried breathes. Breathing is so important because it is what allows the muscles to expand and contract, allowing your muscles to loosen up!
-Wear comfortable, flexible clothing
-Stretch on flat/comfortable surfaces.
Pared with Chiropractic Care, stretching regularly will relieve pressure on your neck and back. For example, the hamstring muscles in the back of our legs (muscles that we put a lot of our weight on every day) are connected to your back and neck. If you have inflexible hamstrings, it doesn’t just cause headaches and soreness in your back and neck, but it can also increase the chance of injury to your spinal muscles!
For some basic stretches that can help you achieve optimal flexibility, and help you maintain your spinal alignment, check out the stretching and flexibility tab at http://www.alphaspinecenter.com/performance.html and check out the Exercise Video link at www.alphaspinecenter.com/exercise-videos.html , or ask Dr. Salminen about good stretches that work for your body and to the activities you love to do!