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What Is the Best Treatment for Sciatic Nerve Pain?

What is the Best Treatment for Sciatic Nerve Pain in Chicago | Chiropractic

Sciatic nerve pain or sciatica, is an incredibly common type of pain that experts estimate 40% of people experience at some point in their lives. This pain can be very disabling and leave one of your legs feeling weak or numb, possibly with a burning or stabbing sensation.

If you have sciatic nerve pain or you think that you may be experiencing the symptoms of sciatica, then seeking treatment is one of the best things that you can do to relieve the pain sooner rather than later.

Never heard of sciatic nerve pain or want to learn more about this unique condition? Read on to discover more about the causes and the best treatment for sciatica…

What Is Sciatic Nerve Pain?

Sciatica is the name of a specific type of pain that you experience when there’s irritation to the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is located between the hips and feet and runs down the back of each leg. The location of the nerve explains why the symptoms of sciatica can involve experiencing pain in the lower back, hips, and leg.

Sciatic nerve leg pain, and pain in the hips and back, can manifest itself in many ways, including:

  • Shooting pain
  • Constant stabbing pain
  • Burning pain
  • Numbness
  • Difficulty moving
  • Weakness
  • Tingling

The symptoms of sciatic nerve pain normally only occur on one side of the body, but the experience is very different from case to case. For some people, the pain will only last for a short duration (typically 4-6 weeks) and it will only cause slight irritation. For other people, the pain will last for much longer and can be quite severe.

What Are the Causes of Sciatic Nerve Pain?

Sciatica is generally caused by some form of pressure to the sciatic nerve; the type and location of this pressure can determine the location, severity, and duration of the pain. There’s a long list of causes of sciatic nerve pain, including:

  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Pregnancy
  • Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
  • Lumbar Subluxation
  • Lumbar Disc Herniation
  • Tumors

Sometimes, other back injuries may also cause sciatic nerve pain. While not generally a cause, the pain experienced can be worse for people that are overweight or accentuated by additional problems, such as inadequate sleeping provisions.

Common Treatment for Sciatica

As you would imagine from the many possible sciatic nerve pain causes, there are a number of treatment options. The treatment advised will largely depend on the severity of the pain and root cause, although in certain cases, like with chiropractic care, some treatments can help with multiple severities of sciatica.

Here are four common treatment options for sciatic nerve pain:

1. Sciatic Nerve Pain At-Home Treatment

At-home treatments can be very effective in treating short-term sciatic nerve pain, as well helping with the recovery process in conjunction with other treatments. Treatments and care at home can include stretching the back regularly, using heat and ice packs, and gentle exercises. If at-home treatments don’t help to reduce the pain, more substantial treatment is often advised.

2. Over-the-Counter Sciatic Nerve Pain Medication

In many cases, an over-the-counter pain medication may be suggested to alleviate the pain. This can work in conjunction with at-home treatment to cope with the pain until it subsides.

3. Chiropractic Treatment for Sciatic Nerve Pain

Chiropractic Treatment for Sciatic Nerve Pain, along with other physiotherapy treatments, are a very common suggestion for cases of sciatic nerve pain. Unlike some at-home treatments and medication, the purpose of chiropractic treatment is to address the underlying cause of the pain. Chiropractic care can include a range of treatments, such as:

  • Spinal adjustments
  • Ice/cold therapy
  • Manual manipulation
  • Ultrasound therapy
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
  • Physical therapy
  • Massage

4. Surgery

In the worst cases of sciatic nerve pain, where the pain is severe and prolonged, surgery may be an unavoidable requirement to treat the underlying cause of the pain. Surgical treatments vary but can include decompression or intervertebral disc removal.

Depending on the extent of sciatic nerve pain, further treatments may be suggested, such as:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Acupuncture
  • Antidepressants
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Lifestyle changes

What Is the Best Sciatica Treatment?

Each type of treatment has its own benefits, and in some cases, options like surgery may be unavoidable. Yet, for persistent sciatic nerve pain, the best sciatica treatment is often physiotherapy. In particular, chiropractic care is a highly effective physiotherapy treatment for sciatica.

A chiropractor can help at every stage of treatment, from the initial diagnosis, to relief from pain by targeting the cause of the pain, and afterwards with preventive advice. In general, chiropractic treatment is immensely well-suited to treating sciatica, as it’s focused on helping the body to heal itself through treatments that improve spinal movement.

As well as treating the cause of sciatica, a chiropractor will also be able to advise you on good practices that can prevent re-occurrences of sciatic nerve pain in the future, such as:

  • Which exercises to do at home to improve the muscles in your back
  • How to correct your posture when you’re sitting and standing
  • Which lifestyle changes to make for improved back health
  • How to properly support your back
  • How to improve your diet for optimum health

Chiropractic care is ideal for anyone seeking the best natural treatment for sciatic nerve pain, as it involves non-invasive procedures. The treatment plan will be customized to your exact needs and lifestyle, and you’ll receive ongoing support from a chiropractor that knows your unique medical history. As is the case with many types of back pain, and pain in other areas of the body, chiropractic care is often an effective and rewarding treatment for sciatica.

Sciatica Treatment Chicago

If you’re looking for chiropractic sciatica treatment in Chicago, then the experienced chiropractors at Advanced Spine & Sports Care can help. Our specialist chiropractic and physical therapy services are a natural treatment for sciatic nerve pain that can effectively reduce the pain you’re feeling and address the real cause of the problem.

Contact us today to talk with one of our excellent team about treatments for sciatica. We’ll make sure that your pain is diagnosed and treated. Also, we will support you going forwards for a healthier life now and in the future!

Lower Back Pain Treatment: Chiropractic Vs Back Surgery

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Lower Back Pain Treatment in Chicago

Instances of chronic lower back pain in America are on the rise. It’s estimated that 8 in 10 Americans will have first-hand experience with back pain. With 80% of Americans expected to experience the disabling consequences of back pain, it couldn’t be more important to understand where the best place to turn is if such a problem should occur. Two of the most popular treatment options for chronic, and sometimes moderate, back pain are chiropractic care and surgery. The treatment options are at two different ends of the spectrum of pain relief, with chiropractic care being non-invasive and surgery often being very invasive. However, in many instances, they both offer the same promise of less pain and potentially a permanent or long-term solution to back pain.

But which one is the best option for lower back pain?

Common Causes of Lower Back Pain

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Understanding the cause of lower back pain is one of the best ways to determine which treatment type will be the most effective: surgery or chiropractic care. Different injuries can lead to short-term lower back pain, which may only last for a period of a few weeks to a few months, or chronic back pain which can last considerably longer.

It’s commonly the case that a sprain or a strain, caused by a sudden movement, heavy lifting or prolonged poor posture, is the underlying cause of short-term back pain. The damage to the muscles and ligaments in the back can be incredibly painful, but the pain is unlikely to last for more than a few months.

Long-term or chronic lower back pain is often brought about by a more severe injury, and as such, the pain can be more severe and much longer lasting, sometimes requiring more to heal than just time. The injury could cause a fracture, deformity, joint dysfunction or a disc problem, amongst many other underlying issues that can bring about lower back pain.

Depending on the injury, the treatment required to alleviate the pain, and potentially heal the injury completely, will change; but who should you turn to first, a chiropractor or a surgeon?

Surgery for Lower Back Pain

There are many different types of surgical treatment available to treat all manner of lower back pain injuries. Depending on the injury that caused the lower back pain, and the advised surgical treatment, the procedure could be slightly invasive or very invasive; this can impact the recovery time after surgery. Common lower back surgeries include disc replacement and decompression.

One of the main benefits of surgical treatment is that function can often be restored when ability is severely limited due to the back pain. However, back surgery is not normally advised if the pain felt in the lower back is only moderate or if there are no visible indications of the cause of the pain.

Chiropractic Treatment for Lower Back Pain

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Chiropractic treatment is very different to surgical treatment, initially in the fact that chiropractic care is non-invasive. The option of chiropractic treatment is also available for people with minor or moderate lower back pain, as well as those with long-term chronic back pain.

Like surgery, there are a number of chiropractic treatment options available, which will differ depending on the injury that caused the lower back pain. These lower back pain treatments could include:

During a visit to a chiropractor, the pain in the lower back will be diagnosed and a specialized treatment plan will be formed that’ll help to determine the best way to relieve the pain. Unlike surgery, a chiropractic treatment plan will involve treatment that is ongoing in order to target the root cause of the problem causing the pain.

Chiropractic Treatment vs Back Surgery: Which Is Best?

When it comes to chiropractic treatment vs back surgery in Chicago, it’s difficult to determine which treatment option will be best, as both options are very different. However, in many cases, there’s a best treatment option to start with, and for a large number of people, it’s chiropractic care.

Chiropractic care can help to treat the underlining cause of lower back pain in many people, often without the further requirement to have invasive surgical treatment afterwards. As surgery is often deemed to be a last resort treatment, in part due to the longer recovery times and invasive procedures, chiropractic treatment can be the best place to start for a fast and healthy recovery.

In cases where chiropractic treatments are not effective after a pre-established treatment course, surgical alternatives can still be considered to provide a different solution to treating the condition.

Explore How Chiropractic Care in Chicago Can Help Treat Lower Back Pain

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Any uncertainties over the best treatment to alleviate pain in the lower back can often be cleared up via a consultation and examination with one of the professional chiropractors at Advanced Spine & Sports Care. If chiropractic treatment is a viable option to reduce or eliminate back pain, then your local Chicago chiropractor will be able form a personalized treatment plan for you and help you to find the best way to reduce lower back pain and restore a full range of motion.

Sports Chiropractic Care – Ways Chiropractic Can Improve Athletic Performance

Sports Chiropractic Care Chicago

Athletic performance can be improved in a number of ways, from following a proper training regime to eating the right foods at the right times. The overall health of your body, as an athlete, will impact your performance, define your endurance, and improve your recovery times, but how can you make sure that your body is as healthy as it can be?

One way to make sure that your body is in peak condition to improve your athletic performance and excel at what you love is to visit a chiropractor. Sport Chiropractic care is a before and after treatment that can prepare your body to excel and help it to recover once you’ve put it through its paces.

Not sure whether sports chiropractic care is the answer that you’ve been looking for? Here are five ways it can give you the edge over your competition:

  • Preventive Care – Train Without Injury

Sports Chiropractic Care is not just something that’s helpful after an injury or before a competition; they are a range of treatments that can help to reduce the risk of sustaining an injury when you’re working out, competing, or just doing what you love.

By creating a treatment program with your chiropractor, you can help to target those areas that are most susceptible to injury, based on your medical history, your exercise regime, and your current level of athletic performance. Chiropractic care  for athletes is a personalized physical treatment that’s designed to prepare and improve your body by targeting areas like muscles and joints.

  • Peak Performance – Be the Best You Can Be

Injury prevention is an important part of chiropractic care, helping you to train more and test your limits with a lower risk of injury. Not only can this improve your performance, but there are other aspects of chiropractic care that can help as well.

The different chiropractic treatments can help you to further your range of motion, enhance your flexibility, and increase your overall strength. During a chiropractic treatment program, the entire function of your body will be examined, leaving no stone unturned and no injury unnoticed.

If your body is under any stress that’s limiting your athletic performance, a Sports Chiropractor can help!

  • Reduces Pain – Relax During Recovery

Ongoing pain is not conducive to a relaxing recovery. Chiropractic care targets the pain at the source, using treatment that’s directly targeted at eliminating the main problem, not just the symptoms of the problem.

The treatments available can help with a vast range of sports injuries and symptoms in an effective way, no matter the exact injury that you’ve sustained. Through spinal decompression therapy , Chiropractic adjustments,  professional massage, and the other highly beneficial chiropractic treatments, the pressure of your injury can be released and the pain relieved.

  • Optimize Recovery Time – Get Back to What You Love

From back pain and neck pain to headaches, Chiropractic treatments can be used to treat all manner of injuries and problems effectively, but not only does the treatment help to solve ailments, it can also reduce the recovery time after sports injuries.

Many Chiropractic treatments revolve around the nervous system, which plays a large role in recovery after an injury. If you’ve been injured, your chiropractor will make sure that your nerve signals are operating properly, your muscles are relaxed, and your blood is circulating correctly.

Chiropractic care for sports injuries is one of the best low-risk treatments to complement other medical treatment, speed-up your recovery, and reduce pain.

  • Less Medication – Natural Physical Recovery

One of the biggest benefits of Sports Chiropractic care is that it’s a medication-free option for treating a vast range of injuries that can impact athletic performance. This all-natural approach to healing reduces reliance on pain-relief and medications that can cause adverse effects.

Chiropractic care is also non-invasive, so puts less strain on your body. The results of treatments are often noticeable quickly and the lasting effects will benefit your performance for a long time to come.

Getting Access to Physical Therapists and Sports Chiropractic Doctors

When you’re ready to take your love of athletics to the next level, visiting a Sports Chiropractor certified in Physical Therapy, should be your next move.

  • Feeling the strain after a work-out?
  • Worried that you’re not ready to compete?
  • Want non-invasive treatment for your aches and pains?

Advanced Spine & Sports Care in Chicago, IL is the answer!

Advanced Spine & Sports Care is a specialist chiropractic care center that offers all the alternative health treatments that you need to keep your body healthy, boost your performance, and recover from injuries as quickly and safely as possible. If you live in the Chicagoland area, then you’re in luck when it comes to getting access to the best Sports Chiropractic care and Chicago physical therapist services around.

 

 

Physical Therapy & Chiropractic Treatment for Knee Pain

Physical Therapy & Chiropractic Treatment for Knee Pain

Experiencing pain in the knee can be highly disabling, and if the pain is present for prolonged periods of time it can change the way that you live day to day. Seeking professional treatment for knee pain is one of the best ways to achieve a faster, safer, and more effective recovery.

Many people choose to see a physical therapist or chiropractor after injuring their knee or to relieve long-term pain from an old sports injury or accident. Both forms of professional treatment can almost always successfully relieve knee pain, but did you know that the treatment methods can actually work brilliantly in conjunction with each other?

Whilst different treatment methods are used, the purpose of both physical therapy and chiropractic care is to reduce the amount of pain that a person feels after an injury and provide rehabilitation after an accident. The two treatment methods combined can have great results in cases of minor and severe knee pain.

There are many reasons why physical therapy and chiropractic treatment are great options for knee pain, starting with the benefit of customized treatment plans.

Customized Physical Therapy Treatment Plans

Knee pain can differ greatly, depending on what kind of accident or sports injury was the cause of the pain, where the injury is located, and the age and health of the patient. When you visit a chiropractic care center or physical therapy center for your knee pain, the treatment that’ll be provided is highly customized to your exact injury.

You’ll be provided with a personalized treatment plan which is based on the condition of your knee, what is required to regain a full range of movement, and what will help to relieve the pain in the quickest and safest way possible.

Alternatives to Surgery

In many cases, both chiropractic care and physical therapy can be alternative treatment methods to surgery. By relieving pain and strengthening joints, surgery can be prevented after some accidents through a customized treatment plan.

Even in an event where surgery is required to heal your knee, physical therapy and chiropractic care will ensure that you are stronger and healthier before having surgical treatment. Both treatment methods can also be used after surgery to help with a faster and more effective recovery.

Professional Expertise

A chiropractor is an expert in the nervous system and the musculoskeletal system, they provide hands-on mobilization and manipulation treatment that can get to the root cause of a knee injury, or any other injury to the joints in the body.

A physical therapist is an expert in rehabilitation using diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment to return movement, motion, and strength to injured parts of the body. Physical therapy treatment is designed to restore previous function and improve wellbeing.

Arranging for a joint treatment plan between a chiropractor and a physical therapist will offer you the best of both highly specialized treatment types – enabling you to treat your injury with twice the expertise.

Relieves Pain from Injuries

The manual techniques and exercises that are used by chiropractors and physical therapists can relieve or completely irradiate knee pain. Each specialist uses a range of techniques that are either designed to focus on the source of the pain or restore movement and motion to injured joints after a sports injury or accident.

Chiropractors commonly use techniques like massage, manipulation, and inflammation reduction to treat knee pain, whilst physical therapists use techniques like specially designed exercises, stretches, and electric stimulation.

Prevents Further Injuries

After a sports injury or accident, rehabilitation is essential to be able return to normal day to day activities and continue playing sports. Chiropractic care and physical therapy help to prevent further injuries from occurring, either due to proper treatment of the first injury or by focusing on the heath and ongoing wellbeing of the patient.

Chiropractors can provide counselling on wellbeing and exercises that help with the root cause of pain, improving overall health and function of the body. Physical therapy exercises can strength muscles, improve balance, and increase motion, which help to lower the risk of a further injury from occurring.

Treatment for the Cause and Symptoms

One of the best reasons to consult a physical therapist and chiropractor after a sports injury or accident is because the treatment provided will consider both the symptoms of the injury and the root cause of the pain that you’re feeling in your knee or other parts of your body.

The combination of both styles of effective treatment techniques will give you a strong chance of achieving a safe recovery that strengthens more than just the injury in your knee. Both areas of expertise can treat all manner of problems, not just knee pain. You can seek treatment for pain in any of the joints in your body and get advice on relief from the pain caused by diseases or headaches.

If you’ve recently had a sports injury in Chicago or you’ve been suffering from the pain of an old accident for a long time, then arranging for a appointment with a licensed physical therapist and chiropractor in Chicago is one of the best steps to take to alleviate the pain and start on the road towards a healthier recovery.

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Non-Food Related Incentives to Motivate Your Fitness Goal

“Just be good and you’ll get a cookie.” “After this, we’re getting lunch!” “If I get through this project, I need a drink.” All our lives have been dotted with food-related incentives for completing tasks and goals. Though rewarding with a sweet treat can seem like a benign motivation, this habit can be detrimental to your ultimate health goals. Using food as a prize reinforces the relationship in your mind of food and happiness. While a healthy and balanced lifestyle involves occasionally eating empty calories, using nutritionally-void food as a motivator is dangerous. Junk food as positive reinforcement for your fitness goal can precipitate a negative relationship with food.

 

In order to meet and maintain your health goals, you must rearrange your association with food and positivity to be an association between wellness and positivity.

 

How to Set Goals:

 

The journey to a healthy lifestyle is infinite. Every day, we can strive to take care of our bodies, to nurture them with food and invigorate them with exercise. Especially if you are structuring your wellness goals with weight-loss in mind, the road ahead may seem daunting. Setting inefficient and intangible goals can deter you from achieving them. Vague goals are just dreams. Goals require an actionable path, so make sure you are articulating what you are aiming to achieve. In order to be actionable, goals have to be realistic. Creating dramatic, lofty aims that in practice, aren’t going to be maintained, is not productive. A great metric for determining if you are setting motivating goals is the SMART test. SMART is a mnemonic device that breaks down the important aspects of a goal-writing:

 

Specific – What exactly are you trying to achieve?

Measurable – How will you be able to determine your success in achieving this?

Actionable – In what ways can you achieve this goal?

Realistic – Is this goal something you have the resources to achieve?

Timely – When are you going to achieve this goal?

 

If your goals meet the SMART criteria, you are on the right track. Everything humans do is to fulfill either an intrinsic or extrinsic motivation. Though you may be intrinsically motivated to meet your wellness goals and live a healthy, enriching life, an intrinsic motivation can sweeten the pot. Enter, rewards. In this article, we will give you tangible and customizable ideas that you can use to incentivize yourself.

 

Fitness Goal Reward Ideas That Aren’t Junk Food

 

  1. Treat Yourself To a Day at the Spa

 

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Working out and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be tiring. It makes sense to counteract all the emotional and physical energy you spend on your wellness with a relaxing activity. After going to the gym consistently, you’re going to build up tension in your muscles. The perfect relief is a massage. Release the tension with a pampering rub. At Advanced Spine and Sports Care, we offer our patients a variety of physical therapy rehabilitation methods, including massage treatments.

 

  1. Buy New Workout Gear

 

If you’re going to get serious about your fitness goals, you’re going to need the proper equipment. Treat yourself to that Lululemon pair of running shorts after you complete your race you’ve been training all summer for. Spring for the pricey, but stylish yoga mat. Buying yourself accessories for your workout of choice will encourage you to maintain your fitness goals.

 

  1. Or Just New Clothes In General

 

 

If your fitness journey is resulting in significant weight loss, chances are your old clothes are starting to feel a little loose. Celebrate your healthy body and treat yourself to some new threads! Wearing something you love and showing off your dedication to your fitness goals will help foster confidence.

 

  1. Treat Yo Self

 

Marry your fitness and financial goals by leveraging your health milestones to justify purchases. Been eyeing a new pair of shoes that you just have no reason to buy? Use your wish list as a carrot to motivate your health goals. The key is to set tangible expectations so you can definitively landmark your achievements. General goals like “I want to get more flexible” are hard to convert into actionable motivations. Try instead something like, “I want to be able to do the splits.” The key to any successful goal is the measurability of it, so you can analyze your success in achievement.

 

  1. Equip Yourself with Tools for a Healthy Lifestyle

 

You put in quality time at the gym and picking nutritional meals, it’s time to put the same effort into your time off. If you are meeting your fitness and health goals, reward yourself in a way that lets you experience the fruits of your labor. Certain rewards for yourself can actually accelerate you toward your goals. If your wellness goals are more nutritionally-based, consider purchasing something that can elevate your kitchen skills. Kitchen tools, cooking classes, or a new cookbook can be the extra push you need to fall in love with your new healthy diet. If you’re more focused on the physical exercise component of your wellness, reward yourself with a fun physical activity! Working out does not have to mean a monotonous weight-lifting routine or cranking out miles on the treadmill. Spice up your routine with a spin class you’ve been meaning to try or a day trip to go hiking!

 

  1. Give Yourself a Break

 

Reward your hard work with a day off. Think of your most dreaded chore; laundry, window cleaning, washing your car, and hire a service to take care of it for you.

 

When making dramatic lifestyle changes, goals are essential to milestone your progress and rewards to motivate your commitment to your goals.

 

Your relationship with food is a key component of your overall health. At the end of the day, feeding our bodies is about nourishment so we can live our best lives. Optimally, food is both wholesome and delicious, but the ritual of eating should be associated with fueling your body, rather than reward or entertainment. Diets tend to focus on the singular transaction of what you put into your body, rather than your approach to food overall. What we put into our bodies is extremely important, but the “why” is just as key.

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7 Ways to Be Active In Chicago This Summer

With its bold architecture, exciting events and stunning views of Lake Michigan, Chicago is one of the most exciting cities in which to spend your summer.

 

Chicago is packed with activities to enjoy during the summer months. With the season comes sunshine – and lots of it. It gets hot – sometimes too hot to get outside and comfortably exercise. At the very height of summer it’s important to stay hydrated, stay in the shade and wear sunscreen, but there are plenty of ways to stay active without overheating or risking your health.

 

With warmer weather just around the corner, we’ve compiled a list of 7 awesome ways to stay active in Chicago this summer. Whether you’re a fitness fanatic or simply love the fresh air, these are the best ways to be active in this iconic city at summertime.

 

1 – Go Swimming

 

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Swimming is a great activity for when the weather’s hot. Cool off and take a dip in one of Chicago’s many swimming pools or outdoor swimming areas.

 

For those looking to experience swimming in a natural setting, all you need to do is head eastwards. Chicago is of course built on the shores of one of the world’s biggest freshwater lakes; and with so many different beach entry points, Lake Michigan is one of the easiest places to enjoy a cooling swim in the summertime. Oak Street beach, Ohio Street beach, and Harold Hall Quarry beach are all lovely and are monitored by lifeguards, making them great for families. You can enjoy a calming swim right alongside the city walls, then dry off and head straight into town for a well-earned drink.

 

For those who prefer to swim in a pool, Chicago has plenty of indoor and outdoor pools to choose from. Practice your lengths at Chicago Park District pool or head to the Olympic-sized pool at Washington Park to get in your mileage.

 

2 – Play Indoor Sports

 

When it gets really hot, it can be exhausting to be out in the sun and exercising. Chicago has plenty of indoor sports clubs where you can enjoy all kinds of activities in their dedicated (and air conditioned!) studios.

 

Join Chicago Sport and Social Club, where you can enjoy a range of sports all year round, including softball, basketball, in-door volleyball and floor hockey. Combining high caliber sports leagues with great social events, Chicago Sport and Social Club is a fantastic place to stay active and have fun during a Chicago summer, and throughout the rest of the year.

 

3 – Take Up Yoga or Pilates

 

Eternally popular with people of all ages, yoga and pilates classes can be found everywhere in Chicago. Both activities are great ways to get fit: they help build core strength, improve flexibility and reduce stress, and can be done outside or inside during the summer months.

 

Choose from one of the many high quality yoga and pilates studios including: Amplified PIlates Center, Pilates ProWorks, CorePower Yoga and (last but not least) Yoga Six Lincoln Park.

 

Yoga Six has both indoor and outdoor classes. In the summer though, there’s nothing like the feeling of the sun on your face and the fresh breeze of Lincoln Park while you work out, complete with iconic views of the Chicago skyline. This studio is dedicated to helping you achieve balance and streamline your fitness – the perfect place to get active during summer in the Windy City.

 

4 – Explore Chicago By Foot

 

There are few things more lovely than a walk around the streets of Chicago on a sunny day. Book a tour with Chicago Walking tours and experience everything that this eclectic city has to offer.

 

Explore some of the fabulous parks this city has to offer by taking a stroll from Millennium Park to Maggie Daley Park. Amble around the farmers market, visit Lincoln Park and the surrounding area (packed with cafés, bars and a zoo – enough to fill an entire summer day), or explore the long-awaited Riverwalk which takes you along Lake Michigan to Wolf Point, with plenty of beautiful sights to see along the way.

 

5 – Go Paddleboarding on Lake Michigan

 

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Stand-up paddleboarding has taken the world by storm. It’s fun, playful and great exercise to enjoy out on the water. What better place to stay active and soak up some sunshine than on Lake Michigan? Head to its breezy shores to book a day out at one of its dedicated paddleboarding clubs.

 

Chicago Paddle Company offer training days and sessions for kids, adults, seniors and where experienced paddleboarders can rent their own boards on an hourly basis.

 

For those looking for a more contemporary atmosphere, head to Chicago SUP in downtown, where you can rent boards and get lessons, as well as join excursions around the lake or book party boats for you and your friends.

 

6 – Cycle Everywhere

 

Chicago is regarded as one of the best US cities for cycling. Since the dawn of the bicycle in the 19th century, Chicago has been home to dozens of cycling clubs, and was originally one of the key distributor hubs for bikes and cycling equipment for the whole of the United States.

 

Nowadays, keen cyclists can enjoy the many parks and trails designed specifically for bikes. Explore Burnham Park, Grant Park and the Lakefront Trail this summer. There are literally hundreds of places where you can rent and buy bikes, including Village Cycle Center, Cycle Smithy and Edgebrook Cycle, or take a cycling tour and experience what is arguably the best way to view this iconic city.

 

7 – Be Active at Home

 

There’s so much going on in the city that sometimes it’s nice to just chill out at home. Stay active at home by engaging in some vigorous housework, gardening or check out some online fitness videos to keep yourself toned and active during the summer months – without risking the sunburn!

 

Staying Safe In the Sun

 

Summer in Chicago is a wonderful time to enjoy everything this diverse city has to offer. During the warmer months, the temperature often rises into the 90s and the sun can be very strong. If you’re out and about during the summertime, it’s important to take certain precautions to keep yourself safe from heat and sun-related risks.

  • Walk in the mornings and evenings – the sun is strongest during the middle of the day. These are also some of the most beautiful times to see the city when it’s less busy.
  • Wear sunscreen – protect your skin from scorching summer sun by regularly applying sunscreen.
  • Wear sunglasses and a sunhat – keep your eyes and head cool to avoid heatstroke.
  • Stay hydrated – very important! Drink plenty of water and carry water with you when you’re out and about during the summer months.
  • Keep in the shade as much as possible – avoid standing in the sun for too long. Chicago is full of gorgeous parks, so why not have a picnic in the cool green shade of a tree?

 

The birthplace of so many innovators and artists, Chicago never disappoints when it comes to entertaining its visitors and its locals; whichever of these you are, we hope you have a lovely summer in this special city. Stay safe and enjoy this unique city in all its sunny glory.

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Don’t Walk It Off: Injuries to Halt Training Over

Whether we’re star athletes, weekend warriors, or casual intramural dabblers, injuries hold no prejudice when they strike their victims. So often, we nonchalantly shrug off these injuries, barely even reaching for a bag of ice before we’re back out on the track or in the gym. Meanwhile, your body is weeping on the inside, hoping that you’ll get the idea and rest, repair, or even visit a doctor or physical therapist. But which injuries are serious enough to demand some time on the bench? That’s where we come in.

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Tendinitis

Tendinitis is defined by an inflammation or irritation of the tendons, the thick cords that connect our muscles to our bones. Now, even if you’ve never heard of tendinitis, you’ve probably heard of (or maybe even had) some of its nicknames like “tennis elbow” and “golfer’s elbow”.

Tendinitis arises from a multitude of activities: repetitive movements can contribute to the formation of tendinitis, or it can derive from a single, serious injury. Swinging tennis rackets and golf clubs, pitching and throwing, and even gardening or painting can all cause tendinitis. Popular locations for tendinitis include the hips, shoulders, knees, and elbows. Other factors can influence tendinitis, including gout and rheumatoid arthritis.

How To Know If You Have Tendinitis

If you’re experiencing significant pain at the tendon and any surrounding joints, you may have tendonitis.

How To Deal With Tendinitis

After stopping the activity, there are two routes available depending on the severity. For mild cases, rest the affected area and break out the ice packs to help manage pain and inflammation. Raid the medicine cabinet for anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen. Keep yourself on the sidelines until the pain resides and range of motion returns comfortably. However, if treating your case of tendinitis still feels beyond your capabilities, you should set an appointment with a doctor or physical therapist.

 

Runner’s Knee

Patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), or “runner’s knee,” is the irritation of the cartilage on the underside of the patella (kneecap), with pain ranging from mild to severe. Often described as the most common running injury, you’ll feel a dull pain beneath the top of the kneecap that begins mildly and intensifies during a running session.

 

Sufferers of PFPS will feel pain during regular running/training, but especially as they are descending (stairs/downhill) and performing complex knee movements like squatting.

Causes

The general consensus is that the following causes contribute to the development of runner’s knee including:

 

  • Shoe selection (orthotics)

  • Muscle weakness in the quads, hip abductors, and external rotators

  • Poor flexibility in the calves/quads

  • Biomechanics, specifically the chain reaction of complex bio-movements in the hips, legs, and knees

 

Rest and treatment are essential to making sure no additional damage is being done. The resulting pain from runner’s knee can last for weeks or months at a time and it’s important to begin working on the problem early to reduce chances of doing further damage.

 

Ceasing running activities doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be unable to train, though. If continuing your regimen is important, do exercises that have little impact on knees: swimming, aqua jogging, and the elliptical machine are good ideas.

How To Treat Runner’s Knee

Some are able to remedy runner’s knee with a system of training/treatments that can be done at home, including building hip/quad muscles through various exercises (of course, avoid aggravating the knee), performing hip abductors, stretching, and foam rolling. In addition, try the following:

 

  • Ice the knee for 15-20 mins at a time

  • Reduce foot impact with better shoes or custom orthotics

  • Use anti-inflammatory medication

 

In worst case scenarios, when your own attempts to improve PFPS yield poor results, a trip to your physical therapist and a gait analysis may be necessary.

 

Shin Splints

Shin splints is another aggravating injury that plagues athletes everywhere. Identified by a pain that occurs at the front side of the shin bone, shin splints arise from any number of culprits: frequent stopping and starting, flat feet, extended periods of repetitive motions, or constant pounding of the feet as with jogging or treadmill walking. Together, these activities cause stress fractures in the bone and muscle, weaken stabilizing muscles, and create swollen muscles. When you feel this aching or throbbing in the shins, you should hang it up before you make the situation worse.

 

How To Treat Shin Splints

Rest so your shins have adequate time to heal. Icing will help to reduce swelling and ease the pain. Begin taking anti-inflammatory drugs. And look for a new pair of sneakers that better support your feet.

 

To get to the source and develop a program that will prevent shin splints from blowing the whistle on your workout, work with a physical therapist to pinpoint issues with posture and form that can contribute to the development of shin splints. They can also prescribe specific exercises, stretches, and movements to aid recovery and prevent future instances.

 

Muscle Strains and Pulls

What exactly does it mean to “pull” a muscle? Generally, we use the terms “pulled” and “strained” interchangeably; but they both actually refer to the act of tearing. When we pull our muscles, we tear them. These tears can range from minor to truly traumatic and can produce intense pain that requires serious treatment.

 

Causes

Muscle pulls can originate from complex training movements, as one would expect, or something as banal and commonplace as picking up a bag of dog food. They can result from:

 

  • Repetitive movements which overwork a muscle, like swinging a tennis racket

  • Abrupt, jerking movements

  • Heavy lifting

  • Aggressive movements and stretches

  • Awkward movements

  • Explosive demands on the muscle

 

Launching toward the rim for a dunk, jerking to block a slapshot, pushing yourself to cross the finish line tape—all can lead to a muscle pull.

 

How Do You Know You’ve Pulled A Muscle

A pulled muscle is unique in the sudden, odd, or sharp pain it produces after a movement. You know that something strange just happened, something your body doesn’t quite like. As a result, the muscle that has suffered the strain feels weaker. You feel pain when contracting the muscle in both directions. You see swelling, soreness, or redness in the affected area.

 

Symptoms can last from just a few days to weeks and range greatly in levels of discomfort. The worst muscle strains and pulls can put you out of commission for months and require a doctor, physical therapist, or even surgery followed by a serious rehab program.

 

How To Treat Muscle Pulls

Treatment varies widely based on the severity of the tear, which muscle was injured, and the resulting pain. The bigger the muscle and the deeper the tear, the longer you’re going to be on the sideline. The most important tactics for treatment include rest, ice, elevation, and compression. These practices will help reduce the pain and allow the muscle fibers to repair. Trying to exercise through the pain may make you feel like The Hulk, but we would advise against that. After a few days of rest, test the muscle: try moving through a normal range of motion. Improvements in motion and a reduction in pain are a great sign. However, if you see no improvements and the pain continues, it’s time to check in with a doctor or sports therapist.

 

Conclusion

Injuries happen. And we understand—you want to continue your training regimen. You figure that because you can still move and you’re not on crutches then it’s ok to keep going at it. As you can see, we beg to differ. When you’re the unfortunate recipient of a training related injury, do your body a favor and put yourself on the sidelines. Figure out what’s happened, then begin the process of restoring your health, whether that involves a few simple treatments and adjustments to your regimen or the assistance of a professional. If you do go the professional route, Advanced Spine & Sports Care would love to help get you back in the game!

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Stretches Prevent and Avoid Injury

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Stretching regularly is vital to keeping our bodies healthy, fit, and injury free. Despite these benefits, many are unfamiliar with the role of stretching in reducing muscle soreness, the buildup of lactic acids, and injury. Knowing this, the team at Advanced Spine and Sportscare wanted to put together a list of stretches that can provide you with many of the aforementioned benefits.

 

Quads

Quadriceps are the muscle group on the front of the thigh that inspires “leg day” dread for gym goers everywhere. One of the most basic quad stretches is The Flamingo. To execute, lean against a wall or stand up straight. Raise your left leg up at the knee, then grab your foot with your left hand. Slowly pull back on the left leg with your left hand until you feel a stretch in your quad. Hold for a few seconds and repeat for each leg.

 

This move can also be performed on the floor as a Kneeling Quadricep Stretch. Find a yoga mat or soft pad and plant your right knee on it. Step forward with your left leg and place your left foot flat on the floor so that your knee is at a ninety-degree angle. With your right hand, grab your right ankle. Pull your ankle toward your glutes and squeeze. Shift your weight slightly forward for a good, deep stretch. Feel that wonderful feeling? That means you’re getting a great stretch in your quads.

 

Hamstrings

The hamstring is posterior leg muscle and is often overlooked when it comes to stretching. Like the quads, it’s important to ensure that you are properly stretching the hamstrings to prevent injury and counteract muscle tightness.

Hamstring Stretch: Lay down flat on your back. Use a long towel or bands and wrap them around your left foot. Keeping your leg straight, pull the towel or bands toward your body, raising your leg toward your torso. You should feel a great stretch in the hamstring. Hold for a few seconds, and repeat several times per leg.

 

Calves

Calf Stretch: Calf stretches can easily be performed against a wall. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and place your hands on the wall before you. Put your right leg forward while extending the left behind you. Flatten your left heel against the floor and straighten your left leg until you feel a stretch in your left calf. Hold a count for about ten seconds, then switch legs. Repeat a few times for each calf.

Heel Drops: Another great stretch for the calf muscle is the Heel Drop. Locate a raised platform—stairs, curb, exercise block, etc. Place your toes on the edge of this surface, keep your leg straight, and drop the heel down. Hold for several seconds, then switch legs and repeat for a few sets.

 

Back

Back pain runs rampant in modern society, the result of many factors including poor posture, incorrect lifting, and sore or weak muscles. Regardless of origin, it’s important to protect your back and reduce the risk of injury through quality stretches.

The Standing Back Arch is a simple move executable by all ages and fitness levels. Stand straight and place your feet shoulder-width apart. Place your palms on your lower back and push your torso forward, creating an arc through your legs, back, and shoulders. Keep your knees straight. Hold for a few seconds and repeat for a few more reps.

The Single Knee To Chest stretch is another exercise that hits not only the lower back but also the glutes and the hamstrings. Lie flat on your back with your legs resting on the ground and your knees slightly bent. Take a single leg, bend at the knee, and bring it toward your chest. Your lower back should press slightly against the floor. Hold the knee against the chest for a few seconds until you feel a good stretch, then alternate. This is an excellent move to prevent injury, relieve pain, and ease tension.

 

Triceps

Now that we’ve gotten some of the major muscle groups out of the way, let’s talk smaller muscles. The triceps, extensors of the elbow, give us the ability to straighten our forearms. The triceps rest behind the bicep, or at the posterior of our arms, and the muscles have three heads: lateral, long, and medial.

To stretch your triceps, place your arm across your chest and hold with your other arm. Hold for about fifteen to thirty seconds before switching. To hit the other heads of the triceps, hold the same pose with your arm in higher and lower positions.

Another great method for stretching the triceps goes as follows: raise your arm up in the air until it is parallel with your head/ear. Bend the arm at the elbow until it falls behind you. Reach with your other arm and tug the elbow backward until you feel a stretch in your triceps. Hold this stretch for about fifteen to thirty seconds, then alternate for three repetitions on both sides.

 

Chest

We a few simple moves, you can get a great stretch on your pectoral muscles that can help prevent injury. Find an open doorway or narrow space between two vertical bars. Place your hands on the sides of the doors or bars. Keep your elbows to your sides and your hands about halfway between your shoulders and your elbows. Grab the sides tightly, then lean forward (step forward if you need to steady yourself). You will feel a stretch in your chest muscles. Hold for a minimum of thirty seconds, then return to the starting position. To stretch the tops of your pecs, move your elbows up to the height of your shoulders. Once again, grab the sides, lean forward, and hold. You can also perform this movement with a single arm at a time, focusing your stretch on a single pectoral muscle.

If you are without a frame to support you, there’s another great stretch you can perform. Stand straight, legs shoulder-width apart. Keeping your arms straight, bring them together in front of your chest as if you were clapping. Begin to “pretend clap,” but don’t let your hands touch. Move your arms back and forth in a clapping motion before you, then gradually open the clap wider, eventually opening your arms as wide as possible until you get a great stretch in your pecs.

 

Shoulders

The previous triceps and chest stretches also work very well for stretching shoulder muscles. But the shoulders comprise several muscle groups and a variety of stretches are needed to hit them all.

Lateral Neck Flexion: Humans tend to carry a lot of stress and pain in their upper trapezius muscles, the muscle group that extends from the shoulder blades to the base of the skull. To perform the lateral neck flexion, cock your head to the left or right, bringing the ear to the shoulder and hold for 15 seconds. Switch sides and repeat.

Overhead Wall Stretch: Place your hands on a wall over your head. Stand about 8 inches from the wall. With palms planted, begin to drop your torso down. Hold for about fifteen to twenty seconds and repeat two more times for a set of three.

Rhomboid Stretch: The rhomboid stretch is easy to perform and provides a wonderful stretch to the rhomboid-shaped muscles in our upper shoulders/back. Grip a pole or fixed object. Bend at the hips, pushing your buttocks backward, and pull at the fixed object. Loosen and relax your shoulders so that you get a good stretch running from your arms to your back. Hold for ten to thirty seconds.

 

Whether sports heroes, weekend warriors, or home improvers, injury can come for any of us. So a good stretching regimen is great for any person, regardless of age or fitness level. And, as you can see, you can perform stretches for any muscle group in mere seconds.

 

If you ever do find yourself injured or in need of therapy or back care, the team at Advanced Spine & Sports Care offers a range of chiropractic services, including spinal decompression, physical therapy, and chiropractic adjustments. We’ve served the Chicagoland area for seventeen years, building our business on honesty and integrity and we would love to be of service to you.

Sitting vs Standing: Finding A Perfect Balance

The controversy around sitting or standing while at work continues to grow. While many people firmly believe that the sitting disease will cause serious health issues (if it hasn’t already), others think differently.

Worried that too much sitting could seriously affect one’s health, consider investing in a sit/stand desks to prevent or even reverse these effects. However, Advanced Spine and Sports cares exercise and rehab specialist, Chris Fuller, urges patients to understand that standing all day isn’t the answer, either. He suggests say the solution is a chair that prevents the curvature of the spine, backaches, and hip pain—ultimately, a chair that finds a balance between sitting and standing.

Today many are eager to believe that standing is best for them because it will help to reduce their weight. Indeed, standing would burn more calories than sitting, but standing for extended periods could also strain your veins (causing varicose) and backs. Although, studies show that standing is best for your body as opposed to sitting, there is no definitive answer.

Sitting is inevitable, but too much standing has its problems as well. Sitting for too long, poses other risks that can’t be ignored. Thus when looking to find a balance between sitting and standing one should consider these tips:

  • Change positions regularly
  • Sit for no more than 20 minutes at a time
  • Stand in one position for no more than 8 minutes
  • Take a two-minute moving break at least twice an hour to stretch and walk around
  • Stretch even when sitting

These Exercises Will Work Wonders For Your Spinal Health

We all know that exercise is good for us. Some of us go for a run a few days a week. Others are sold on the benefits of weight training. Some people without the physical resources to perform more strenuous workouts opt for daily walks. There’s no doubt that any or all of these forms of exercise can be beneficial to your health. But at Advanced Spine & Sports Care we’d like to see everyone add yoga and pilates to their weekly fitness routines because both yoga and pilates are fabulous ways to maintain or improve your spinal health. Here are our five reasons why you should take up yoga or pilates (or both!) no matter what else you currently do to stay fit:

 

  • Yoga and Pilates Strengthen Core Muscles

 

An important aspect of spinal health is improving or maintaining the strength of your core muscles. Your spine on its own can only support about 30 – 40 pounds of body weight so it needs your core muscles to do a lot of the heavy lifting to help keep you upright. When your core is weak, your spine does extra work that wears it down and will ultimately lead to pain and injury. It’s also important that the strength of your core muscles is balanced: weak abdominals and strong back muscles can cause lower back pain. But doing sit-ups isn’t going to rectify this situation. Your posture is mainly supported by muscles deep inside of your body – muscles that are not worked by doing sit-ups. But the postures and movements involved in yoga and pilates are able to reach those deep core muscles, as well as the core muscles closer to the surface.

 

  • Yoga and Pilates Improve Flexibility

 

Another key component of spinal health is flexibility. When flexibility is reduced, we run the risk of pushing our body too far and causing injury. The best way to maintain or improve your flexibility is with gentle stretching on a regular basis. Both yoga and pilates deliver this kind of stretching to your muscles, tendons, and ligaments. When muscles, tendons, and ligaments are not regularly and properly stretched, they shorten and toughen, which reduces flexibility. This is especially important for those of us who spend hours on end sitting at a desk every day. Our bodies did not evolve to endure that much sitting and, as a result, without other forms of stretching, our muscles, tendons, and ligaments suffer. But don’t worry – even if you’re already experiencing lack of flexibility, it’s never to late to start. Yoga and pilates can help improve your flexibility by gently stretching the areas that need it.

 

  • Yoga and Pilates Promote Postural Awareness & Alignment

 

Good posture is really important for spinal health. The spine has a natural curve in it. While the spine is meant to move and be flexible, if it is constantly in an unnatural position, damage to discs and vertebrae and even nerves can occur, which will result in back pain and can even affect other areas of your body. Both yoga and pilates encourage practitioners to focus on correct posture and alignment during different poses and moves. This focus generally translates to a greater awareness of posture and alignment outside of yoga and pilates classes as well. Also, because yoga and pilates are strengthening your core muscles, it will be easier to maintain proper posture and alignment.

 

  • Yoga and Pilates are Preventative and Curative

 

If you are free of back pain – great! Now is the time to start yoga and pilates. Even if you follow another fitness regimen, adding yoga and pilates will almost definitely improve your fitness level, endurance, and performance because of its ability to improve core strength, balance, and flexibility. Keeping your core muscles balanced and strong and keeping the moving parts of your spine flexible will also help you stave off the degenerative process that happens as we age and will protect you from back and spine injuries.

If, on the other hand, you’ve begun to notice a lack of flexibility, balance, or core strength, yoga and pilates can help you repair the imbalances in your body. In fact, even if you are already experiencing back pain or if you are recovering from a spine or back injury, your doctor may actually prescribe yoga or pilates as part of your recovery. This is in part because your doctor will want you to start new habits that will support your spine health, even after your official treatment is over.

 

  • Almost Everyone Can Do Yoga and Pilates.*

 

No matter what your age, fitness level, gender, or weight is, it’s highly likely that you’re able to take part in a yoga or pilates class. Make sure you pick the level that’s right for you and, if you’re brand new to the practice, let the leader know ahead of time. While advanced yoga and pilates can be incredibly difficult, the basics are pretty easy and will still give you substantial spinal health benefits.

We think these are five pretty good reasons for you to give yoga or pilates (or both!) a shot. Since we are passionate about spinal health at Advanced Spine & Sports Care, we’d love to see everyone taking up yoga or pilates. If you’d like to know more about ways to maintain your spinal health, or if you are experiencing back pain or pain caused by a spinal issue, we encourage you to contact us online or by phone (773.868.0347) today.

*Always consult with a medical professional before beginning any new exercise routine.