Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Headaches got you down?


What Headaches Cost?
Headaches cost business millions of dollars in lost workdays and reduced-effectiveness workday equivalents. Migraine headaches, especially, keep workers away from their jobs; tension and other headaches are less an issue. Headaches may not be as severe as chronic back pain, but they are far more common.

Some people respond to headaches by popping a pill, but the relief, if any, is usually short-lived. The better alternative is chiropractic care that goes to the cause of the problem.

Doctor Skrien is a chiropractor who is a specialist in problems of the spine and the nerves that emanate from it. Expert testing helps locate the precise spot where arteries and nerves are blocked. Most often, troubles can be traced to one or more tiny bones in the neck that are out of position, impinging on vital nerve or blood vessels. The chiropractor’s hands-on treatment can release the trapped nerves of blood vessels and make the pain go away. He understands how headaches and migrianes can effect your daily life. Call today and see if we can help.
 

How's your tennis game, golf game? Dont let shoulder pain keep you out of the game.

Healing Chronic Shoulder Pain


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Chiropractic Care and Rehabilitation of Chronic Pain
Chronic injuries require specific rehabilitation and a long-term approach. Patience is required and it is important to recall that the problem has developed over the course of years and will not be fixed in a matter of weeks or months. Progress should be obtained in the short-term, but such situations usually require consistent, ongoing attention to achieve a long-term solution.
Performing the appropriate rehabilitative activities is critically important and chiropractic care can be of great assistance in getting the most out of your exercise program. Regular chiropractic care improves the mobility of your spinal column and removes nerve interference which may cause tight, inflamed muscles. The result is a body that is optimized for good health and full function. By enabling maximum spinal mobility and maximum function of your nerve system, regular chiropractic care helps maximize your body's ability to recover from chronic injury.
As we get older, years and decades of mechanical stress may lead to deterioration of joints, ligaments, and tendons. This degenerative process, commonly known as arthritis, primarily affects weight-bearing joints such as the hips and knees and those found in the lumbar spine. The shoulder, too, is especially prone to undergo arthritic changes owing to its extreme mobility. The extensive range of motion at the shoulder is built-in to the design of this structure, but the tradeoff is instability. The design of the shoulder sacrifices stability for mobility.

Degenerative disorders of the shoulder typically involve the rotator cuff. This broad, flat structure is composed of the muscle-tendon units of the four rotator cuff muscles: the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis, and teres minor. The thick covering of the rotator cuff surrounds the head of the arm bone and supports and strengthens the shoulder joint. But owing to the shoulder's inherent instability contrasted with its great mobility, the soft tissues of the rotator cuff undergo repetitive stress and strain. Ultimately, degenerative changes may occur, leading to the two prominent symptoms of pain and restricted range of motion.

An entire orthopedic sub-specialty focuses on treatment of chronic shoulder pain and includes long-term use of anti-inflammatory medication, corticosteroid injections when medications do not provide sufficient relief, and eventually surgery to repair tears in the various rotator cuff tendons. "Revision" surgery is commonly performed when the benefits of prior surgery are exhausted.1

The good news is that in many cases, a more optimal approach is available, one that utilizes the body's own natural recuperative powers. For many people, chronic shoulder pain can be reduced and chronic loss of mobility can be improved by engaging in specific activities and performing specific rehabilitative exercises. The goals of rehabilitation are to increase shoulder range of motion and build up shoulder strength. As these goals are accomplished, the likely result is reduction of intensity and frequency of occurrence of shoulder pain.

Engaging in an overall strength training program is an important general approach to managing chronic shoulder pain.2,3 Strength training should be done progressively, starting with light weights and building up over time. Exercises specific to the shoulder include seated dumbbell or barbell presses, dumbbell or cable lateral raises, seated bent-over rows, and internal and external rotation exercises done with very light dumbbells on a flat bench. If one has experienced an acute shoulder injury, early rehabilitation should precede rehabilitative strength training. Early rehabilitation includes pendulum exercises and finger-walking up a wall in both forward-facing and side positions.

Your chiropractor is experienced in injury rehabilitation and will be able to help you design an effective flexibility and strengthening program for improved shoulder function.
 




1Keener JD: Revision rotator cuff repair. Clin Sports Med 31(4):713-725, 2012
2Lewis JS: A specific exercise program for patients with subacromial impingement syndrome can improve function and reduce the need for surgery. J Physiother 58(2):127, 2012
3Andersen LL, et al: Effectiveness of small daily amounts of progressive resistance training for frequent neck/shoulder pain: randomised controlled trial. Pain 152(2):440-446, 2011

Friday, March 22, 2013

Pain in the Neck?

 
 
Pain in the Neck
 

 

Smile for the day.
Doc please help me, my husband thinks he's a satellite dish.
Don't worry Mrs Jones, I can cure him.
I don't want him cured Doc, I just want you to adjust him so I can get HBO.

Do you suffer from neck pain? If you do, you’re not alone. Nearly 75 percent of American adults will suffer from neck pain at some point in their lives. And, looking at our anatomy, it’s no wonder so many of us do. Though having your head perched on top of your spine gives you a great view of your environment, the set-up is rather like propping a bowling ball atop a tower of blocks. The price? Our necks are prone to injury of the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints. But by paying attention to our posture, doing regular stretching and strengthening exercises, and visiting our chiropractors, we can help keep our necks pain-free.

Causes of Neck Pain

Neck pain ranges from mild (annoying and distracting) to severe (incapacitating). Poor posture during normal, everyday activities such as watching TV, using a computer, reading a book, or talking on the phone can easily trigger minor neck pain. TV watching can be particularly bad for the neck if you’re lying on a couch, with your head propped at an awkward angle for a prolonged period of time. Holding the phone between the jaw and shoulder (rather than in your hand), reading at a desk or table with your head hung over a book, or working with a computer monitor below eye level can also be particularly stressful for the neck. By resting and making efforts not to repeat the offending stresses on the neck, minor neck pain usually disappears on its own within a day or so.

Neck pain that won’t go away or keeps coming back can signal a more serious underlying problem. Subluxations or joint restrictions; injuries such as whiplash; diseases like osteoarthritis, meningitis and tumors; congenital malformation; and degeneration (such as that in arthritis) require more than rest. I can determine whether the cause of your neck pain is minor and easily treatable or more serious and requiring more intensive, extended treatment.  

Prevention is Key

How can you avoid the need for treatment in the first place? The first step is to take note of your everyday posture. If your job requires a lot of phone use, consider wearing a headset. Do you slouch when you watch TV? Lie on the couch? Choose to sit upright, in a posture-supporting chair. When studying or reading, avoid putting the book or magazine on a flat surface. Instead, consider using a book prop. And, if you notice your computer monitor is below eye level, elevate it by placing it on top of a shelf or tower.

Neck pain is often caused by weak muscles in the front and tight, overactive muscles in the back of the neck. Doing daily strengthening and stretching exercises can be helpful in preventing neck pain. Try the following exercises:

  • Lie flat on your back. Tuck your chin to chest and raise your head no more than an inch off the floor or bed. Hold this position until your muscles are tired (they may shake). Do this exercise three times, once or twice per day.
  • In a standing or sitting position, with your neck erect and tall, keep your chin level and jut your head forward. Then, drop your chin to your neck. Place your hands on the back of your head to gently encourage a stretch of the muscles at the back of the neck. Hold this position for several seconds. Do this exercise three to fives times, as much as once an hour, every day.
  • Looking straight ahead, tilt your head to one shoulder. With the same-side hand, gently pull your head toward your shoulder. Hold the stretch for several seconds. Repeat on the opposite side. Do this exercise three to five times on each side, as often as once an hour, every day.

If you experience neck pain that doesn’t abate within 24 hours, seek the advice Dr. Skrien. And remember, because chiropractors specialize in the neuromusculoskeletal system, they are some of the most well-trained healthcare professionals to consult about neck pain.

Chiropractic Care Can Help...
Our goal is to adjust the spine and help stimulate your body's natural healing process.
 
 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Friday, March 15, 2013

Top Three Fitness Tips from the World of Dance


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Chiropractic Care Helps You Get the Most from Exercise
When we exercise we often come up against our physical limitations. Tight back muscles or tight hamstrings can frequently limit what we're able to do. Tight shoulders and tight hips create other kinds of restrictions. Occasionally, such physical limitations can lead to injury.
Chiropractic care helps remove the roadblocks that are causing these issues. Your chiropractor analyzes your musculoskeletal system, paying special attention to your spine, and uses gentle treatment to correct misalignments and joint dysfunctions. By restoring more normal biomechanics, your chiropractor enhances your ability to exercise fully and freely. Additionally, your chiropractor may make recommendations regarding safer, smarter, and more efficient methods of stretching, warming up, and cooling down. As a result, over time you gain more and more benefit, reaping the rewards of time well spent.
Professional dancers are a pretty select group. These elite athletes are arguably among the fittest people in the world. Dance training provides flexibility, strength, speed, and agility - qualities of which we'd all like to have more. As a result, the dancer's experience provides lifelong guidance for the rest of us as we pursue our own fitness-and-exercise quest.1,2,3

Here are three key fitness tips from the dance world:

1. Hard Work. Dance training provides everything an athlete needs. But there's a lot of personal discipline and effort involved. That said, the results are magnificent. If we want comparable [for us] magnificent results, we must put in the time. We must do the hard work.

2. Process and Practice. Dancers know they're in it for the long haul. They're committed to the process of becoming a dancer and to the practice required to get where they want to go. It's a goal that takes years to accomplish and it's a goal that has no end-point.

Adults who want to get fit, be fit, and stay fit need to remember this long timeline. Fitness doesn't happen in a month or even three months. Sure, you can make good fitness gains, getting slimmer and stronger, having more endurance. But the real power comes from embracing the process and practice of fitness. The real power comes from a long-term commitment to being fit, healthy, and well. To being willing to take small steps, just as dancers literally do, day after day.

3. Mind-Set. A dancer's mind-set is all about the moment, it's all about the work-at-hand. Looked at from this perspective, being a dancer is a Zen process. The work of dance is the work of right-now. Whatever a dancer is doing in the moment has to be the best that dancer can do. Otherwise, what's the point? If the work of the moment isn't the very best you can do, you'll learn nothing, gain nothing, and your time and effort are wasted. More importantly, neither you, nor your body, nor your brain will grow.

Dancers learn these lessons in their very first class. Maximum effort is required all the time. It is supremely exciting and life-affirming to be part of such demanding activity. Strength training can be just like this. Running can be just like this. All our core exercise classes, spin classes, and yoga classes can be just like this, too.

What we can learn from dance and dancers is the value of bringing a total-commitment mind-set to all our fitness activities. Of course, there will be days when we don't completely get our act together. That's fine. That's part of what it means to be human. Our level of commitment is what keeps us going. Dancers know this. Deep in their muscles, deep in their bones. We can all learn a great deal from their approach to health and fitness.

1Rinne MB, et al: Is generic physical activity or specific exercise associated with motor abilities? Med Sci Sports Exerc 42(9):1760-1768, 2010
2Cowen VS: Functional fitness improvements after a worksite-based yoga initiative. J Bodyw Mov Ther 14(1):50-54, 2010
3Granacher U, et al: Effects of a Salsa Dance Training on Balance and Strength Performance in Older Adults. Gerontology 2012 Jan 6 [Epub ahead of print]

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Sign-up using the form or call us at 507-344-8300 to learn more about Skrien Chiropractic and living healthier!
 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

When to do Chiropractic Baby Checks


Why Do You Need Your Baby Checked?

 

Before the baby was born you were doing many things to ensure your baby’s health. You ate right, took vitamins, did not drink alcohol, did not smoke, did not use drugs, and did not take over the counter medications. Now that the baby is born you want to do what is right for them.  You are breast feeding them, keeping them away from cigarette smoke, having wellness check ups. But have you had your baby’s spine checked? An unhealthy spine can affect the health of your child. The spine is what protects the nervous system. The nervous system controls all functions of the body. Dr. Skrien is specially trained to check your baby’s spine for areas of vertebral subluxations. The vertebral subluxations cause the nervous system to be in a state of dis-ease, and not working properly. This will cause the health of your baby to less then healthy.

 

 

When Does A Baby Need A Spinal Checkup?

 

Six times in its first year.

  • After the birth of the baby. This may be the most traumatic event in their life.
  • When they start to hold up their head. Very important in development of the cervical curve.
  • When they start to sit up. Think of all the times they tip over and jar their spine.
  • When they start to crawl. Start to develop the low back curve in the lumbar spine.
  • When they start to stand. Count how many times they fall down and jar the spine.
  • When they start to walk. Again see how many times they fall down.

This is according to chiropractic pediatric specialist Larry Webster, D.C.

 

What Else Can Chiropractic Help With My Childs Health?

For over a hundred years chiropractic has been helping baby’s respond to chiropractic care. These are a few conditions that Dr. Skrien has helped in his clinic with chiropractic care.

  • Colic
  • Difficulty breast feeding
  • Ears, nose and throat infections
  • Allergies
  • Sleeping disorders
  • Projectile vomiting

 

 

To have a healthy baby you need to give them the best possible chance. You have had your baby’s eyes checked, heart checked, hearing checked. Now have their spine checked, it could make a big difference in their health for the rest of their lives.
 
 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Headache with a Fancy Name


Dr. Skrien’s - Health Tip of the Week

 

A Bad Headache With A Fancy Name

 

           

            Many headaches are caused by damaged structures in the neck, the cervical section of the spine. Chiropractic has explained this for years and given the syndrome a name: the cervicogenic headache. The dysfunction may be caused by abnormal posture, herniated disc, even whiplash. Hand-on chiropractic adjustments are particularly effective in easing the discomfort, and the patient may be given rehabilitative exercises to restore range of motion and strength.

 

            What’s new in this equation is the recent interest of the medical community in the anatomy and physiology of the cervicogenic headache. Doctor/researchers in Australia, Canada, even Syracuse, New York, have said that “chiropractors were right.” Next, the North American Cervicogenic Headache Society, at is conference in March, will present a session on “manipulative therapy” for these headaches. As chiropractors and neurologist meet together, it seems the thinking has come full circle.

 

            See Dr. Skrien for the expert, hands on treatment that can restore proper spinal alignment and relieve the discomfort of these headaches.
 
 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

No Drugs for Ear Infections

 
Chiropractic care a better choice. "Thanks to Dr. Skrein my two and a half year old son avoided a surgery to have his adenoids removed and tubes put in his ears! It only took a few adjustments and following his advice on some diet changes and my son's ears cleared up and he hasn't had a cold or infection since! I highly recommend Dr. Skrein and chiropractic care in general." Rachel Carpenter
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Exercise Smarter Not Harder

Featured Article

Exercise Smarter Not Harder


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Chiropractic Care and Smart Exercise
Chiropractic care assists us on the path to smart exercise. We want to do our work, making gradual progress toward increased strength and cardiovascular fitness. But even if we're really doing smart exercise, injuries may happen. Chiropractic care helps prevent unexpected injury and helps us recover faster if an injury does occur.
Many training injuries occur owing to tight muscles and lack of flexibility. Regular chiropractic care helps restore flexibility to the joints of your spine and helps reduce tightness in the numerous muscles that attach to your spinal vertebras. The result is a spinal column that is more freely movable, one that can better withstand the physical requirements of exercise and is less susceptible to injury. Regular chiropractic care enables us to get the most out of our exercise program and achieve our goals of long-term health and well-being.
We all want to get the most out of the time we spend exercising, and it's natural to think that exercising harder is going to provide a bigger, faster payoff. But exercising harder without adequate preparation often leads to injury. Then there's recovery time, possibly the need for rehabilitation, and ultimately you're back at the beginning in terms of fitness, strength, and endurance. Injuries are to be avoided, if at all possible. The best way to avoid injury is to exercise smarter. Exercising smarter is also the best way to achieve continual, progressive gains in fitness, health, and well-being.
Exercising smarter means doing what you're capable of doing, and then doing a little bit more. For example, if you're a runner and typically run three miles a day, three times a week, it wouldn't be smart to do an eight-mile run the next time you go out. The likely outcome would be a strained muscle, shin splints, or worse. If you lift weights and typically bench press 100 pounds, it wouldn't be smart to find out what it feels like to bench press 150 pounds. What it could feel like is a back, neck, or shoulder injury. In either scenario, the price paid for attempting to train "harder" is at least two weeks of down time, possibly much longer, while you recover from your injury. Of course, we've all made mistakes and sometimes training injuries just happen, but tempting fate by doing too much is not, in fact, "smart."
The goal with any type of exercise is to progress gradually over time.1 For example, if you're 60 years old and haven't exercised for many years, a walking program is a good way to begin. On your first day, walk at a comfortable, steady pace for 10 minutes. That may not feel like much, but you will be increasing your total time over the next four to six weeks. The next day, add a couple of minutes. As long as you're continuing to feel good, add a couple of minutes on every second day or so, building up consistently to a total of 30 minutes per day. At this point, you're walking 30 minutes per day, five times per week. Next, every second day or so, increase your pace by a bit.
Don't increase your pace if you feel uncomfortable or feel as if you're working too hard. Be in tune with what you're doing. After four to six weeks of gradually increasing your pace, you'll probably be able to walk 30 minutes per day, five days a week, at a nice brisk pace.2 You may also notice that you've lost some weight,3 you feel more flexible, you're standing more upright, your skin has a nice, healthy glow, and you're sleeping more soundly and more restfully.
Use the same gradual approach with strength training. Start with lighter weights, not heavier weights, than you think you can use. With lighter weights, you can build up your strength over time. With weights that are too heavy, there's always the danger of incurring an injury that will set you back and interfere with your training. Exercising smarter leads to consistent gains in strength, muscle mass, ability to do physical work, and overall health.

It's natural to want to exercise harder. But exercising smarter is the way to go for long-term benefit without the danger of time-wasting injuries. Exercising smarter is the effective way to maximize the value of our investment in physical fitness.

1Braham R, et al: Can we teach moderate intensity activity? Adult perception of moderate intensity walking. J Sci Med Sport 15(4):322-326, 2012
2Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Vital signs: walking among adults - United States, 2005 and 2010. MMWR Morbid Mortal Wkly Rep 61:595-601, 2012
3Exercise training and impaired glucose tolerance in obese humans. McNeilly AM, et al: J Sports Sci 30(8):725-732, 2012

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Sign-up using the form or call us at 507-344-8300 to learn more about Skrien Chiropractic and living healthier!