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Tips to Help You Avoid or Address the Causes of Neck Pain

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Common Causes of Neck Pain

Neck pain is a very common complaint with a vast number of causes. From bad posture, injuries, and wear and tear, to arthritis, stress, and poor muscle strength, there are a number of reasons why your neck may be causing you bother.

If you regularly wake up with a stiff neck or you suffer from a persistent pain in your neck, then there’s often something you can do about it! Here are seven tips to help you avoid or address the causes of neck pain:

Neck Pain – Tip One: Adjust Your Sleeping Position

If you sleep on your side or back, then you can jump ahead to the next tip, but if you’re a stomach sleeper, then it may be time to try a new position.

When you sleep on your stomach, the neck is forced to the side, causing pressure on the nerves. Sleeping in this position can result in neck pain when you wake up each morning.

Adjusting your sleeping position can be difficult, especially if you’ve been sleeping on your stomach for most of your life. However, for better neck health and less pain, it can be worth it!

Neck Pain – Tip Two: Change Your Pillows

The pain in your neck could be caused by something as simple as the type of pillow you use! Changing your pillows to better support your neck is one of the easiest ways to reduce and prevent neck pain.

If you sleep on your back, combining a rounded pillow for the neck with a flatter pillow for the head is a great way to support your neck during the night.

If you sleep on your side, it’s important to make sure that your pillow/pillows aren’t too high, as otherwise your neck and head will bend unnaturally, causing the neck to become flexed.

You should always make sure that the positioning of your pillows feels comfortable. Try investing in an ergonomic pillow or purchasing a feather or memory foam pillow, which will accommodate the curve of your neck.

Neck Pain – Tip Three: Work on Your Posture

A poor posture can cause a number of problems with your spine, including neck pain. If you don’t have a good posture then you could be straining the ligaments and muscles in your neck, which can eventually lead to an injury.

A particularly bad posture for the neck is when you slant your head forward, so it sits just in front of the shoulders. If your head is positioned in front of your shoulders, then it adds extra force to the muscles in your neck.

Keep an eye on your posture during the day, and if it faulters, adjust your position to prevent neck strain. You can avoid staying in a bad position by getting up and moving around at regular intervals throughout the day.

Neck Pain – Tip Four: Make Improvements to Your Work Environment

If you’re spending a large part of everyday working at a desk, then it’s vital to make sure that the environment is healthy for your neck and the rest of your spine. If you keep your neck in a bad position for prolonged periods, every single day, then it’s likely that you’ll begin to suffer from neck pain.

To create a healthy working environment, firstly make sure that you position your computer monitor so that your eyes fall naturally on the top third of the screen. It’s also important to sit up straight and make sure that you support your back throughout the day.

Taking regular breaks every 30 minutes or so to stand up and stretch will help you to reduce pain in your neck and back. As you work, it’s important to stay hydrated. Drinking enough water will help to keep the discs in your neck strong and flexible, as they’re mostly comprised of water. If you regularly forget to drink during the day, try setting an alarm.

Neck Pain – Tip Five: Change the Way You Use Your Phone

Bending your neck to stare down at your phone can add stress to the ligaments and joints, ultimately causing a lot of damage to your neck. Using your phone less during the day will help you to prevent neck pain. Another way to limit neck stress is to lift your phone up when you’re looking at it; this will help your neck to stay properly aligned.

If you regularly talk on the phone, then switching to a headset will further help to reduce pain. Instead of holding the phone to the side of your head and bending your neck, a headset will allow you to keep your neck straight.

Neck Pain – Tip Six: Distribute Weight Evenly

It’s easy to get into the habit of carrying your bag, purse, or briefcase on one side of your body, but it’s very important to try and even out the load. Creating an even weight distribution between both sides of your body will prevent muscle strain in your neck.

Carrying two bags can be impractical, so try switching your normal bag to a backpack, which naturally distributes the weight on your shoulders. To further lower the potential of neck strain, try to keep your shoulders level and reduce the amount of weight that you carry around.

When carrying heavy shopping bags, try to make sure that the bags in each hand are close to an even weight.

Neck Pain – Tip Seven: Visit a Chiropractor

One of the best ways to avoid and address the causes of neck pain is to book an appointment at Advanced Spine and Sports Care. Chiropractic neck adjustments will loosen the joints in your neck and alleviate the pain.

A chiropractor will be able to bring the vertebrae in your neck into the correct alignment, addressing a number of common causes of neck pain, like muscle spasms and pinched nerves. Chiropractic treatments can help to restore motion in your neck and improve overall spine mobility. You’ll also be able to get advice on posture and sleeping habits, as well as the correct sitting position and neck exercises from the professional Chicago Chiropractors at Advanced Spine and Sports Care.

As our top tips demonstrate, there are many ways to improve the health of your neck! Implementing some or all of our top tips should help you to reduce and prevent neck pain in the future.

Healthy Ways to Reduce Tension & Stress

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Experiencing a small amount of stress on a regular basis can be very beneficial for the mind and body. Healthy doses of stress can help you to be more productive, reach optimum levels of performance, increase your memory, and trigger the fight-or-flight response in dangerous situations. Stress isn’t always bad, but there’s a big difference between good stress & harmful stress.

Harmful stress can impact your thoughts, alter the way you behave, and negatively affect your body. Too much stress or the wrong kinds of stress can also lead to numerous health problems, such as depression, heart disease, and lack of energy. Experiencing regular or high levels of stress can impact your life day-to-day, especially if you’re also feeling tension.

Tension can produce feelings of mental and emotional strain, with stress & anxiety often being common symptoms in people who feel tense on a regular basis. Experiencing tension can lead to muscle aches, lack of productivity, poor cognitive ability & pain. Like stress, it’s important to treat tension quickly to make sure that it doesn’t continue to negatively impact your life.

If you’re experiencing tension or stress on a regular basis, then there are a number of effective treatments that you can consider. Here are four examples of common and healthy ways to reduce stress and tension in your life:

 

Meditation

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Meditation is a prehistoric practice that people have used for thousands of years, historically in a religious context, but today it’s most commonly used for relaxation and stress relief. It’s believed that meditation can relax the mind and restore a feeling of calmness and peace that can reduce the stress of everyday life and promote excellent emotional and mental well-being.

The benefits of meditation come in many forms, often surrounding a reduction of stress, anxiety, tension, and emotional over-stimulation. Practicing meditation improves self-awareness, gives you a refreshed perspective on sources of stress and helps you to manage stress in a more productive manner. In some instances, meditation can also help people to manage health conditions, such as depression, heart disease, tension headaches and anxiety.

There’s no single form of meditation; you can be still during meditation or active. The Chinese martial art, Tai Chi, is an active form of meditation where you practice deep breathing and perform different postures at your own pace. Mantra meditation, on the other hand, requires the participant to mentally repeat a meaningful word and ignore other distracting thoughts. Meditation is very unique to the individual and attending meditation workshops can be a beneficial way to learn how to meditate effectively to reduce stress and tension.

Exercise

reduce stress and tension with exercise

Exercise is an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a healthy body, but it also plays an essential role in establishing a healthy mind. Different exercises can be used as a technique to cope with and manage tension, as well as situations or events that cause stress. In much the same way that stress can impact the body, the physical benefits of exercise that improve the body, can at the same time improve the mind.

Exercising produces a reaction within the body that chemically reduces levels of stress. When you exercise, endorphins are released in the body; these can improve your mood and even reduce pain. At the same time, levels of stress-related hormones in the body, like cortisol and adrenaline, are reduced. These short-term benefits of exercise and stress reduction are great for reducing stress, but the positive benefits of weight loss and improved performance can also provide long-term stress relief.

Creating a custom exercise plan is a great way to ease into regular exercise and partake in the exercises that are most beneficial for your mind and body. Combining a regular exercise routine with healthy back, neck, and spinal alignment exercises could also help you to relieve other forms of stress and tension throughout your body.

Massage Therapy

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Muscles stiffness, aches and pains can very often be a result of regular stress and tension. To ease the pain that stress can cause, massage therapy is an effective and remarkably successful treatment option. Massage targets body aches and pains but it also lifts your mood and relieves emotional strain.

It’s thought that massage can reduce the levels of cortisol in the body, which is a key stress hormone. Massage can also increase parasympathetic nervous system activity, another way to reduce stress and create a feeling of calmness.

Massaging the body can have wonderful benefits for the mind and overall emotional and mental well-being. During a massage therapy session, a number of techniques are used to reduce tension in the body and create a feeling of whole-body relaxation. By relaxing the mind and body, everyday stresses can be reduced, and a greater level of control can be gained over managing and coping with stress.

 

Regular Chiropractor Treatments in Chicago

Stress can very easily take over the body, causing mental strain to turn into physical aches and pains, and impact important parts of a healthy lifestyle, such as sleep, energy, and nutrition. The mental pressure of stress and the emotional strain of tension can both be treated through regular chiropractic treatments. Chiropractic care can relieve stress in a number of ways, sometimes through physical treatments designed to resolve the root cause of pain, and other times through ongoing treatment plans and lifestyle changes.

For common problems associated with stress and tension, like tension in the muscles, spinal adjustment and other chiropractic treatments can be highly effective. Spinal misalignment can cause problems with the nervous system, which affects how the body communicates – an unhealthy spine can cause the nervous system to have trouble coping with stress. Poor blood circulation and muscle tension can also cause other stress-related problems. Chiropractic treatments can improve blood circulation, adjust the spine, and reduce body tension to restore energy and improve health of the whole body.

Professional chiropractic treatment plans can extent from treatments designed to reduce pain, to nutrition plans, massage, exercise routines, and even help learning how to meditate effectively. By attending regular chiropractor treatments, you can address the problems associated with stress and improve your body’s natural ability to handle stress, whether it’s through learning new relaxation techniques, understanding the correct posture to reduce stress, or improving spine health for better overall health.

Stress and tension can negatively impact your life every day, but with so many treatment options out there, it’s never been easier to treat stress and the large number of symptoms.

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.

Simple Habits That Promote a Healthy Lifestyle

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Healthy Lifestyle Habits

Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to mean completely overhauling your life, just a few changes to your daily routine and the adoption of a handful of simple healthy habits, can be all that’s needed to start feeling healthier and more positive. If you’ve found that you’re stuck in a rut and your energy levels are not what you’d like them to be, then it’s time for a fresh start with healthy habits that can lead to a healthier mind and body. Here are six of the best healthy habits that you can use to refresh your mind and start on the right path to a much healthier lifestyle.

Drink 48 Ounces of Water Every Day

Water is essential for life, and you should be drinking around 48 ounces a day to maintain a healthy body and mind. Water helps to keep your body fluids balanced, keeps your organs healthy, and provides you with energy. Drinking the right amount of water each day also helps to keep your skin looking and feeling healthy.

Sugary drinks and caffeine can be very bad for your body, especially when you drink them in excess. Switching your morning coffee or lunchtime can of soda to water, will make you feel refreshed and help to lower your caloric intake. Water can make you feel full, so if you’re drinking the right amount of water, you’ll feel less inclined to snack during the day. Remembering to drink enough water every day can be tough, so to turn this healthy practice into a habit that you’ll follow each day, it’s worth carrying water around with you and making sure that there is always a bottle of water within reach.

Get Enough Sleep Each Night

As you progress through life, your body will require less sleep; for a healthy adult the recommended number of hours of sleep each night is around 8. Many people don’t manage to consistently get 8 hours of sleep each night, which can be a detriment to health and wellbeing, as sleep is one of the best indicators of your health.

In the time you spend asleep, your body is repairing itself. Your blood vessels and heart undergo healing and your whole-body recharges. Not getting enough sleep can lead to poor brain function, hunger, and a bad immune system. For the energy you need to get through the day, it’s essential that you get a good night’s sleep! For a healthier lifestyle, make sure that you’re going to bed at the same time each night, and setting aside enough time to get around 8 hours of sleep – your body will certainly thank you for this healthy habit.

Follow a Healthy Exercise Regime

Exercise is an important component in weight loss, but the benefits of following a healthy exercise regime are not just centered around staying at your desired weight. Physical activity will help your body to stay healthy in many ways. Exercise will make you less prone to developing conditions like diabetes, strengthen your bones and muscles, and help to lower your blood pressure. Getting in a regular amount of exercise each week will give you more energy and help you to feel better within yourself, promoting a healthy body and mind. An essential healthy habit to adopt if you want to lead a better lifestyle is making time for around 30 minutes of exercise each day. This doesn’t have to be intense exercise, just enough to get your heart pumping.
If you work at a desk for long periods of time during the day, then one of the best healthy habits is to get up and get moving every now and again to break up your day and give your body a break from sitting.

Make Time for Meditation

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For the health of your mind and your body, meditation is something that you should consider trying out at least once a day. Good meditation practices will help you to manage the feelings of stress and anxiety, leading to a much happier lifestyle. The feeling of calmness that meditation provides is almost immediate, and it can help you to get a restful night’s sleep and improve your memory. A mediation session can fit into even the busiest of schedules, all you need to do is put 2 or 3 minutes aside each day to start with, and just take the time to sit, relax, and focus on your breathing.

Taking this time to get rid of your negative thoughts will provide you with a much more positive outlook, which is essential for living the best possible healthy lifestyle. You can mediate at any time of the day, but it’s important to make sure that the time is spent without technology distractions – it really can help to take a break from your phone or computer every now and again.

Have a Good Physical Therapy Routine

When it comes to the best healthy habits that promote a healthy lifestyle, having a good physical therapy routine is going to be something that impacts your body considerably. All that stress that has built up in your body doesn’t just disappear by itself, you need the help of a trained physical therapist to improve the functions of your body and ease any pain or tension that has built up.

Physical therapy can assist your body in recovering, it can reduce the amount of pain that you feel and improve your mobility. With a good physical therapy routine, you can manage conditions like diabetes easier, increase your ability to balance, and feel much more comfortable in your own skin. A healthy body will put you on the right track to leading a healthier lifestyle, so booking in for a physical therapy session is a great decision if you want to change your lifestyle and include more healthy habits.

Eat More of the Right Healthy Foods

Healthy eating is perhaps the most well-known habit among the top healthy habits, but you can never stress enough just how beneficial a balanced diet can be for your body and mind. The food that you consume is the fuel for your body and a balanced diet will give your body a little of everything it needs to function properly.

Eating a balanced diet will provide you with energy, make sure that your body is able to heal properly, and strengthen your bones and organs so you can do more and feel better whilst doing it. A balanced diet, combined with exercise, will also help you to reach and maintain a healthy body weight, which in turn can give you a positive mental boost. Major diet changes can be hard to implement, but just switching out some of your sugary snacks for healthier alternatives and eating a wider range of fruits and vegetables will help you on your way to conquering this healthy habit.

Healthy habits can be fun and rewarding to implement into your daily routine, especially when you have the promise of a healthier lifestyle at the end of the day. By including just a small number of simple healthy habits into your routine, you’ll achieve a healthier lifestyle much sooner than you might think!

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Athlete’s Secret Weapon: How Physical Therapy Can Help You Train — Not Just Recover

For many people recovering from an injury or a surgery, physical therapy is the most recommended way to get back to their everyday lifestyle, but it can also be a surprising resource for an athlete seeking healthy and helpful ways to train.

As part of the greater allied health community, in which health professionals distinct from medicine and nursing rely on scientific principles and evidence-based practice, physical therapists help improve their patients’ quality of life with treatment designed to optimize the body’s mobility and function. For athletes, physical therapy can provide a range of solutions that do more than repair the body after an injury or surgery — physical therapy can help athletes train their bodies and muscles for endurance, strain and more.

Whether they’re training for a single-day marathon or a season-long sport, athletes may benefit a myriad of ways from physical therapy.

Improve Balance

Two of the primary reasons an athlete would pursue a physical therapy program are to prevent an injury and to optimize the body for success. Improving balance achieves both of these goals, as the athlete would be much less likely to experience a fall with this enhanced mobility.

According to the Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy, falls are the leading cause of injury for older adults, contributed by balance impairments. Through focusing on the best practices to improve balance and manage falls risk in older patients, physical therapists have also discovered ways to do so for patients of all ages, including otherwise healthy athletes. A study by Dr. Tiffany Shubert outlined a range of exercises that physical therapists may employ with patients to build their balance, including multicomponent exercise programs that incorporates several activities that target performance, balance, postural control, walking, and more. Additionally, balance training programs are designed to progressively improve a patient’s balance, which led to improved reaction times and greater efficiency in recovering balance.

Strengthen Muscles

Muscle atrophy inflicts many individuals, primarily due to a lack of physical activity, diseases like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and more, which physical therapists help treat with exercises designed to strengthen muscles. For athletes, physical therapy programs focusing on strengthening their muscles can help them train even if they’ve not necessarily lost muscle from atrophy.

At their annual Myositis Association Conference, doctors met to discuss the importance of strengthening muscle through physical therapy, as well as some of the most recommended programs. As the physical therapists described during the conference, each patient must find the proper exercise program for them that will strengthen muscles and muscle groups not affected by their disease process while protecting the muscles that are indeed affected in order to compensate for the weakness. Proper exercise optimizes compensatory muscle efficiency and strength, which therefore maximizes a patient’s muscles’ ability to function at a higher level on a day by day basis.

Through various programs including aquatic exercises, land-based exercises, and a range of other focused exercises, an athlete may strengthen their muscles through physical therapy to forego possible injury and optimize their healthy body towards whichever goal for which they are training.

Enhance Endurance

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For athletes preparing for marathons and other activities involving long strain on the body, endurance is a primary trait to train. With higher endurance, athletes can compete for longer with lesser stress. Many individuals seek physical therapy to enhance endurance following a debilitating disease, injury or surgery, programs which athletes too can benefit from in preparation of their event.

According to the American Physical Therapy Association, endurance exercise training has been employed by physical therapists to improve economy of movement for those suffering from Parkinson disease. The study measured endurance according to the rate of oxygen consumption during gait, as cardiorespiratory fitness is generally assessed. Through aerobic conditioning exercises designed to enhance endurance for patients suffering from Parkinson disease, physical therapists helped increase patients’ economy of movement.

Over time and through specific conditioning programs, athletes can enhance their own endurance through physical therapy to similarly defend against possible injury and optimize their bodies for success.

Improve Circulation

Strong circulation is vital for athletes to consistently perform well, as proper blood and oxygen flow guarantees the body’s ability to push the body harder, compete for a longer time, and run a further distance.

Beyond adjustments to diet, there are many ways for an athlete to improve circulation, including physical therapy. Advanced Physical Medicine outlines how determined exercise is the best way to improve blood circulation, such as muscle-toning exercises, systematic programs, and regular work with a physical therapist who knows the patient’s body’s specific needs. The American Physical Therapy Association asserts that professional physical therapists use the results of evidence-based tests to determine the best ways to address the body’s needs for circulation, both at rest and with activity, including the programs to best help the body move blood through the organs and tissues and how to remove carbon dioxide and lymphatic drainage through the body.

Technological advances have also allowed physical therapists to work with athletes to improve circulation through exercises involving hydrotherapy, electrical muscle stimulation, and far infra-red heat therapy, which helps cells revitalize and stimulate blood circulation.

Increase Flexibility

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To maintain a range of motion in the joints, which permits the required activities many athletes undergo, it’s imperative to build and strengthen flexibility. Consistent stretching helps keep the muscles flexible, as otherwise they would shorten and tighten, according to Harvard health specialists.

While it’s simple enough to stretch on their own, athletes may benefit from working with physical therapists to understand which best types of stretching to work towards their own personal goals. As the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy explains, range of motion may be limited by either joints or muscles. Different types of stretching addresses either one of these parts of the body, and in a myriad of ways. Symptoms such as muscle viscoelasticity create passive tension in the muscle, while symptoms like alpha innervation create active tension in the muscle. To stretch the muscle, exercises range from static stretching to dynamic stretching to pre-contraction stretching, each involving different therapy programs.

As the journal’s study explains, athletes requiring greater flexibility for their sports, such as gymnastics and dance, may benefit most from static stretching, while athletes requiring jumping performance may benefit most from dynamic stretching.

From tools to stretch before an event to programs to enhance endurance, physical therapy offers athletes many methods to develop healthy habits and train for their big event.

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No Gym, No Problem! Best Outdoor Running Trails In Chicago

Love keeping fit but can’t get to a gym? Want to remain active while enjoying the outdoors? There could be multiple reasons why you decide to opt for outdoor running in Chicago as your chosen way to keep active. Some of you may just prefer being out in the fresh open air, while others like enjoying the views of surrounding sights as they run. Luckily Chicago is a great city for those who love outdoor running, with plenty of trails and running paths across different terrains and surfaces to choose from.

 

Whatever your reasons are and whether you prefer city trails or park runs, we’ve got you covered. Check out the list of our favorite outdoor running trails in Chicago:

Chicago Lakefront Trail

Set between the famous Lake Michigan and Lake Shore Drive, you’re going to enjoy many sights as you run along this 18.5-mile trail. There’s a great view of the Chicago skyline for most of it. The length of the trail runs from the South Shore area to Lakeview, taking runners past a range of parks, beaches, and harbors. You’ll also spot Chicago landmarks such as the Navy Pier or the Shedd Aquarium as you pound the pavement here. The large number of amenities here make it a major attraction for tourists and locals alike, and some may find it too crowded for their outdoor running tastes, especially on warmer days.

 

Chicago Riverwalk

If you’re a lover of architecture, this may be the best outdoor running trail in Chicago for you. In fact the entire run could actually be compared to an architecture tour of the city. The Chicago Riverwalk is under Wacker Drive and takes you past the downtown part of the Chicago River. There’s a great buzz and lively atmosphere to soak in as you run here. And if the sight of water as you run helps you feel good, this could be the ideal outdoor running trail for you.

 

Lincoln Park

Many Chicagoans consider this the best part in the city. And there’s certainly a lot going on. With the Lincoln Park Zoo, the Chicago History Museum, and the North Pond Nature Sanctuary among other attractions here, you might find that that the outdoor running trail can get a little bit crowded at peak times. But there’s also a lot of positives to using this spot for an occasional run. You can take in the spectacular skyline views and lush natural scenery. There’s also plenty to do and see in the surrounding area if you feel like it before or after your run.

 

Grant Park

Moving on to another famous Chicago park, Grant Park has been around for a long time.  Grant Park is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the city, but try not to be put off by that. This park covers a whopping 319 acres of space, leaving you plenty of room to find a serene outdoor running spot. There are plenty of running trails to explore and work your way through here. The park is also home to many well-known attractions such as Buckingham Fountains and the Art Institute among others.

 

North Shore Channel Trail

Though it’s located pretty much downtown, the amount of greenery surrounding this outdoor running trail makes you feel far removed from the city. It starts at the Foster and Lawrence junction and stretches towards Evanston. You will enjoy river views as you run along the North Branch of the Chicago River and the North Shore Channel. This running trail is a great choice for you if want to enjoy a bit of natural serenity in the city.   

 

Northerly Island

With a view out into Lake Michigan, this man-made peninsula is our personal favourite outdoor running spot in the city. It spreads over 91 acres, and despite its central location near the museum Campus it has a surprisingly tranquil atmosphere. The native prairie of the island has been carefully restored. It makes a stunning set against the spectacular Chicago skyline. If you haven’t tried running here before, we’d highly recommend giving it a go.

 

Humboldt Park and Boulevards

Over the 219-acre Humboldt Park, you will find plenty of outdoor running tails, restored prairies and fantastic city views. Even as you leave the park to head into the surrounding trendy neighbourhood, you’ll find a few dirt paths to run in the nearby boulevards such as Humboldt Boulevard and Kedzie Boulevard.

 

Bloomingdale Trail (The 606)

This concrete trail runs over 2.7 miles from Ridgeway Avenue to Marshfield Avenue.  The Bloomingdale Trail is part of the 606 park system, and is an elevated ‘rail-trail’ in northwest Chicago. You’ll be running almost 20 feet over some of the city’s most hip neighbourhoods, including Wicker Park, Logan Square, Bucktown and Humboldt. You’ll need to run up an access ramp from the street to get here, and it’s easy to get to. If you enjoy elevated views of the city, this one’s for you.

 

Fox River Trail

This trail features 43 miles of asphalt, concrete, and crushed stone surfaces to run on. It may be a better fit for outdoor runners who have been training for a while, as it can occasionally be a little challenging. You will see some impressive scenery along the way though, and there are also views of the beautiful Fox River. Many locals come here to bike and hike as well as to enjoy cross-country skiing in the winter.

 

Palos Trail System

This 25-mile trail system is made up of several different forest preserves within the Cook County Forest Preserve System. It makes a great choice for those of you who like your outdoor running off-road. There are nine trails to explore here with varying levels of difficulty, and also plenty of hills if you want to enjoy a good hike. It takes only about 30 minutes to get here from downtown, but you’ll feel completely removed from the city.

 


Waterfall Glen

If you’re a lover of wildlife or nature, this could be just the outdoor running trail for you. The Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve trail system runs around the entirety of the park. The preserve itself has gorgeous natural scenery, such as ravines and rock ridges carved with glacier. The 700-acre forest is home to many rare plants and some very beautiful oak and maple trees. The trail is made of a limestone surface so is fairly easy to run on. It makes the perfect choice for those who want a retreat into nature in the city.

 

Salt Creek Trail

Covering almost 27 miles, the Salt Creek Trail takes you from Brookfield Zoo to the Busse Woods Forest Preserve. It is connected to many other woodland areas as well as other county forest preserves. Though some parts of the trail have a paved surface, it sometimes transitions into a limestone surface. Though there are plenty of signs throughout, make sure you don’t get lost at one of the many junctions.

 

We hope you enjoy trying out some of the Chicago outdoor running trails on this list. Even if you’ve found a running spot that you love, it can be fun to mix it up a little and explore new spots from time to time so you don’t find yourself stuck in a running rut. Happy running!

Text Neck: Is Your Phone Use Causing Neck Pain?

Tech Neck - Postural Dysfunction - Laptop Usage

Excessive smartphone use can really be a pain in the neck—and we don’t just mean the friends who compulsively check their phones or the unaware text zombies walking around the city.

Text Neck is a repetitive stress injury or overuse of the neck. Put simply, we’re looking down at our phones too much—and this translates to potentially serious, long-term damage to our spines and in more ways than one.

What is Text Neck?

When we tilt our heads down to scroll through our smartphones (or other devices, such as working from a laptop), we’re creating a gravitational pull on the skull. With the average adult head weighing 10-12 lbs., the downward pressure that is caused by texting adds an additional 60 lbs. of weight to our spine. That’s equivalent to having an 8-year-old child sit on your neck.

Furthermore, in a normal, healthy spine, there is a subtle, gentle curve that can be seen in the cervical vertebrae. In those with Text Neck, however, x-rays have shown an alarmingly straight spine and loss of the normal curvature.

Text Next is also referred to as Textural Postural Dysfunction (TPD). But no matter what you call it, it can be responsible for daily discomfort and long-term damage to your spine.

Almost everyone experiences some type of back or neck pain at some point, and, contrary to popular belief most of these conditions are not caused as a result of lifting something heavy or from a trip or fall. In fact, around 70% of these conditions start with everyday repetitive activities such as spending time using electronic devices.

What are the Symptoms of Text Neck?

Text Neck - Neck Pains - Cell Phone UsageCommon complaints of Text Neck include headaches and neck & shoulder pain, but it can also lead to muscle strain, disc herniation and overall health problems.

How so, exactly?

Text Neck puts extra pressure on your nervous system. Our nerves are like an “information highway,” originating from both the brain and spinal cord. When these nerves become pinched or damaged from improper postural habits, problems can begin to manifest elsewhere in the body, such as pain and tingling in the extremities. Problems in other parts of the body will only subside when the root of the problem is fixed.

What You Can Do to Combat Text Neck

When someone its in a slouched, poor posture, their lower back will not be forming its natural curve. Their neck will also have a more increased curve forwards while the middle of the back will have a larger curve backwards.

This posture will abnormally stretch the spinal discs, the ligaments and the muscles and eventually pain will develop. Sometimes, it will take several months, but for some people the pain can occur in as short a time as a few minutes.

In order to combat Text Neck, start with paying close attention to your posture throughout the day. Try these steps to help you get started:

While Using The Desktop Computer

  • When using a desktop PC, the head should remain balanced on the shoulders with the curves of the spine taking a natural and balanced position.
  • The face and head should look straight ahead without any downward angle while the elbows should lie at the sides of the body. Adopting this posture when working at a computer will minimize neck and back pain.
  • Remember to take frequent breaks—set a timer every 15-20 minutes to step away from your screen and walk around, especially if you have a computer-based profession.

When Using A Cell Phone

  • When using a smartphone, users should hold their device in a higher position, keeping their elbows close to their sides to reduce the downward angle of their head. By adopting an upright posture, the neck and back will be brought into a more natural position and will engage the core, trunk and back muscles to stay in the correct posture.
  • Smartphone users are advised to either use a chair with a well-shaped back piece or to stand while using their device to promote a more natural posture.
  • Hold your smartphone or device at eye level whenever possible & Don’t text or scroll through social media in bed

When Using A Laptop

  •  Users should angle the screen upwards to maintain the optimal viewing angle and, wherever possible, putting the laptop on a desk and using an external keyboard or mouse is the best idea for promoting good posture.
  • Maintain a neutral spine whenever using technology by aligning your ears with your shoulders and retracting your shoulders.
  • Consciously create device-free time, like during meals or first thing in the morning or after a certain time in the evening.

How A Chiropractor Can Remedy Text Neck

Chiropractic adjustments can relieve neck pain and address the structural issues that Text Neck creates over time. Like many chronic health issues, they usually don’t suddenly appear overnight, meaning it will take time to for your body to unlearn habits you’ve developed over hours and hours of technology use.

Chiropractors can work to realign the spine as well as create regimens to help you improve your postural habits, so you can be healthy and pain-free moving forward.

Think you might be suffering from Text Neck? Call our offices today at 773.236.8396 to see how we can get you pain-free naturally or make an appointment here.