Month: June 2017

physical therapy

Here are the Three Big Goals When Prescribing Physical Therapy

When you’re in pain, whether due to an injury or recovering from surgery, the last thing you feel like you can take on is physical activity – including physical therapy, which may sound painful. But, that word “therapy” has a healing connotation to it. How could it be bad, then? Well, it isn’t. Most people find that physical therapy is a very impactful way to reduce pain, improve strength, and correct faulty movement patterns. Here at Life Care Chiropractic and Wellness Center, we focus on those three main goals in physical therapy.


Getting You Out of Acute Pain and Inflammation

To help push inflammation out of soft tissue, reduce muscle spasms, and ease pain, we use electric stimulation and ultrasound modalities (methods). These therapies are actually quite relaxing. All you need to do is sit or lay down for about 15 minutes while the electrical stimulation is applied on the affected area. We always adjust the level of stimulation to your comfort.

Ultrasound is then used. This includes applying a warm gel on the affected area. Then, a sound head delivers sound waves into the tissue. We often will use a natural pain relieving gel during this therapy, so you get the benefit of both the ultrasound and the pain relieving effect of the gel. This therapy is done in a private room. Patients often comment that they appreciate being able to sit in peace and quiet during their therapy.


[Related: Why Massage for Pain Relief is So Effective]


Stretching and Strengthening Muscles and Soft Tissue 

Learning how to properly stretch your muscles is a very important step in physical therapy. Aphysical therapyt our office, we have a special rehab area where we teach you how to correctly stretch targeted areas. This helps to increase range of motion or relieve pain. Stretching therapy may be taught standing, sitting, or lying on an elevated platform – depending on the area being stretched. We even have what’s known as a “wobble chair.” It takes your spine through helpful ranges of motion to increase spinal flexibility and hydrate the discs of the spine.

Strengthening the supportive muscles of joints is also very important for increasing your stability and range of motion. Typically, this is done with small hand weights, therapeutic resistance bands, or simple body weight.


Functional Training and Correcting Faulty Movements  

Correcting faulty movements is a key ingredient for decreasing risk of injury and improving overall physical performance. This is actually a really fun form of physical therapy. Here, we identify “weak links” in certain types of movement patterns that you may have. Here’s an example:

A highly competitive female basketball player is prone to knee injury. This is because every time she lands from a jump, her knees migrate inward. In our investigation, we find that she has comparatively weak buttock muscles that allow that type of movement of her knees.

You don’t have to be an elite athlete, though, to have faulty movement patterns. Regular people have them just the same. We love figuring them out and helping you correct them!

So, as you can see, physical therapy shouldn’t be intimidating at all. It all towards getting you back to enjoying all the things you like to do. In many cases, it can even be a fun experience. If you’re experiencing pain due to an injury or have a surgery scheduled and will be in need of physical therapy, please give our office a call and let’s set up a consultation appointment.

farmers' market

Is the Farmers’ Market Really That Good for You?

Frequenting your local farmers’ market is not only an enjoyable way to spend your morning or afternoon; it’s also great for your health. Being out and about gets the heart pumping and the blood flowing, which contributes immensely to a healthy well being. To help power that well being, you need the right nutrients at the right time of year. Let’s explore how the farmers’ market can provide what your body needs, when it needs it better than a supermarket.


Peak Nutritional Value

Buying fruits, vegetables, and herbs grown locally allows you to eat foods that are typically harvested at a more appropriate stage of ripeness. This allows for maximum nutrient content. When a fruit ripens, its starch converts into sugar, making it softer and sweeter, says Joseph Scheerens, Ph.D., a horticulture professor at Ohio State University. “The ripening process is a somewhat oxidatively stressful situation for plants, so they develop antioxidants to defend themselves against that stress,” Scheerens says. That makes it easier for host plant to survive, and even better for your body when you eat the fruit or vegetable.

Produce found in the grocery store often travels many miles – even from other continents. With such a long journey ahead, farmers must harvest the crops long before peak ripeness sets in. The produce also typically goes through some process of gassing, waxing, or irradiation in order to keep it looking good and preserved after finally arriving at a supermarket. All of that processing just adds chemicals with no nutritional value whatsoever. Who really wants that?


First-Hand Knowledge

At local farmers’ markets, you can usually speak directly to the farmer or those that work at the farm in order to get more insight into how the crops are grown. This helps you make informed decisions about what to purchase and, ultimately, consume. Perhaps you prefer produce grown with sustainable farming practices? Or, you like heirloom varieties of produce that is not genetically modified? Or, even more importantly, you want to be sure organic practices have been used with no pesticides? You can first-hand knowledge straight from the people who grew the crops. That’s comforting.


farmers' market 

Right Food, Right Time

Eating food that is in season is better for your body. Humans have eaten “seasonally” for thousands of years before modern refrigeration technology. The body benefits from eating foods that are in season, such as lighter fruits and vegetables during hot summer months, heartier fruits in the fall, and heartier vegetables during the winter. Plus, as mentioned earlier, seasonally fresh produce is picked when it’s ripe and fully developed. That means it has had maximum time in the sun and soil to gather and produce nutrients which get passed on to you.


[Related: What Vitamins Should I Take? Getting the Essentials]


Diversity is Good

Generally, farmers’ markets offer a greater variety of fruits and vegetables than supermarkets, allowing for more diversity in your diet. A diet rich in diversity is very good for our bodies. By changing your menu according to what’s available, you are also less likely to develop food intolerances. We humans are complex creatures. We require between fifty and one hundred different chemical compounds and elements in order to be healthy. While we depend on animal products for a tiny handful of these, the vast majority lie within the roots, shoots and leaves of consumable plants. The more you consume, the better!


Safer is Better

Most cases of food contamination come from mass produced food in large industrial settings.  Did you know that food from your local farmers’ market is statistically likely to be safer? This is mostly due to local farmers growing smaller quantities of crops and doing it naturally. Doesn’t that just sound better for you?

Knowledge is power, so if you would like to know which non-organic produce has the most pesticides, take a look at the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list. If you’re interested in the produce with the least pesticides, check out the Clean 15 guide. Of course, if you are at your local farmers’ market you can ask them specifically about what (if any) pesticides they use.

At Life Care Chiropractic and Wellness, we’re all about good nutrition leading to a healthy lifestyle. So definitely start shopping at your local farmers’ market versus the supermarket. The benefits are numerous. If you need some additional guidance on nutrition, don’t hesitate to give us a call.