SOCC
South Orange Chiropractic Center

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Rated 5.0 based on 24 customer reviews
60 1st St
South Orange, NJ 07079

Open: M,W,F 9am-12pm

Open: M,W,F 3pm-7pm

Open: T 3pm-7pm

Open: T 9pm-11pm

973-761-0022
 
60 1st St  |  South Orange, NJ 07079  |  973-761-0022

Wellness Blog

The blog for South Orange Chiropractic Center, South Orange NJ

Pain and Stress - The Dangerous Duo

Pain and Stress - The Dangerous Duo
Published Tuesday, 30 July 2019

What came first, the pain or the stress? Whether your stress is causing pain or your pain is causing stress, this dangerous duo can get tangled in a vicious cycle that ultimately leads to chronic dis-ease in the body.

Pain and stress are both adaptive behaviors. It’s your body’s unique way of recognizing and adapting to harmful stimuli. How else would you know when to remove your hand from a flame or hit the brakes to avoid a car accident? Adaptive behaviors have kept humans alive for millennia! 

However, when excessive pain and stress work in tandem, the combination can be truly toxic. 

The Stress-Pain Connection

What is stress?

Stress is your body’s reaction to threatening situations. Whether they’re real or perceived, everyone has varying degrees of coping with their stressors. Once triggered, the body has a ‘fight or flight’ stress response to the potential danger that enables you to protect yourself. 

What is pain?

Pain typically results from tissue damage. It is an unpleasant feeling and emotion that warns us to take action to prevent further tissue damage. People experience and describe pain differently, which makes it difficult to diagnose. 

  • Acute pain is generally intense and short-lived. Treating the underlying cause/injury typically heals the pain.
  • Chronic pain is longer lasting. Regardless of the severity or whether the pain is continuous or intermittent, it can be difficult to resolve.

How are they connected?

Both stress and pain are part of the body’s defense mechanism and have different ways of triggering the body’s ‘fight or flight’ response. This response includes:

  • Rapid heartbeat and breathing
  • Slowed digestion
  • Blood flow reduced to the surface areas of the body
  • Blood flow increased to the muscles, brain, legs, and arms
  • Pupil dilation
  • Muscle tension

As you can imagine, experiencing the symptoms of this ‘fight or flight’ response for prolonged periods of time can have devastating effects on the body. Being in a constant state of ‘survival mode’ suppresses the immune system and slows or halts normal bodily functions.

According to Jennifer Schneider, MD, PhD, a chronic-pain specialist and author of the book Living With Chronic Pain: "Lots of studies support the conclusion that what happens in the brain — depression, anxiety, being stressed out — can increase pain. At the same time, if you have more pain, you may be more stressed. Each makes the other worse, so if you decrease pain, you'll likely also decrease stress and anxiety." 

Stress-Pain Management

Physical pain treatments range depending on the condition. They include:

  • Medication
  • Chiropractic
  • Acupuncture
  • Surgery
  • Heat and Cold therapies
  • Rest

Regardless of the underlying condition, managing stress leads to better coping and, in turn, makes pain more tolerable. But studies show that overcoming stress can also physically reduce pain. Part of getting the pain relief you seek is learning how to better manage stress.

Here are some stress-reducing techniques that you can try!

  • Get active. Make exercise a priority, whether it's a 30-minute walk or going to the gym. Consult with a doctor first if you're concerned about how exercise may impact your pain.
  • Get more restful sleep. Proper sleep can also help you cope with stress and healing.
  • Find your balance. Examine your daily routine and modify it for better stress control. Learn to manage your time more effectively and make time for hobbies, interests, and relaxation. 
  • Chill out. Learn and practice relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, and yoga can help you to relax and decrease stress levels. Once learned, these techniques and tools can be used throughout the day as needed.
  • Seek support. Spend time with those you enjoy for social support. Seek out an evaluation from a mental health professional, like a psychologist or social worker, who can help you manage your stress.

Stress and pain are a part of life, but it’s how you deal with them that can influence your overall health. Curious how the doctors at the South Orange Chiropractic Center can help you manage your pain and stress? Contact us today to set up an appointment!

Why We Recommend Drinking Water for Health & Wellness

Why We Recommend Drinking Water for Health & Wellness
Published Tuesday, 16 July 2019

When it comes to health and wellness, most of us spend a lot of time thinking about what to eat but the truth is we should spend just as much time thinking about what (and how much) we drink.

Proper hydration is fundamental to good health since our bodies “run” on water. From waste removal to joint lubrication to temperature regulation, our bodies cannot function for long without water.

But with so many “healthy” sports and energy drinks available--- purportedly backed by research and science -- it’s easy to make the wrong choice when it comes to keeping hydrated, which is why we advise our clients to keep it simple and reach for water if they want to achieve optimum health and wellness.   

How Much Water is Enough?

The standard advice is to drink six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. Remember, though, this is a general recommendation and different people need different amounts of water to stay hydrated.

Some people are at a higher risk for dehydration if, for example, they participate in high-intensity exercise, or exercise outside during hot weather, and should adjust their water consumption accordingly.

Pregnant or breastfeeding women are more susceptible to dehydration, as are older persons since our brains can become less efficient at sensing and sending thirst signals as we age.

Other factors affecting how much water we should drink include illnesses that cause diarrhea, vomiting or fever, and kidney stones and bladder infections that can cause dehydration.

Can Fruit Juices and Other Drinks Keep Me Hydrated?

Fluids like herbal teas and milk all contain water, and most fruits and vegetables contain moderate to significant amounts of water as do the juices made from them.

Sports drinks are a popular choice for athletes exercising at high intensity for more than an hour because they replenish carbohydrates and electrolytes, and can even help the body absorb water.

And some people like the extra kick they get from an energy drink, which may also contain moderate amounts of water.

But all of this comes with a big caveat:

None of these drinks should replace the water in your diet. Water, straight up, is always your best choice.

Why is Water Always The Best Choice?

The Juice on Juice

Fruit juice lacks the fiber contained in its whole fruit form, and so is essentially concentrated sugar water, adding a lot of empty calories to your diet without hydrating you nearly as effectively as a simple glass of water.

The Truth About Sports Drinks

Unless you’re planning a high-intensity workout, your best bet is to opt for water over sugary sports drinks. (Pro tip: check the nutrition label on your sports drink— most bottles contain several servings.)

Skip the Energy Drinks

Energy drinks may provide that extra kick you need to push through a late afternoon slump, but it’s usually because they contain heavy amounts of caffeine and are high in added sugar. Some even contain substances like guarana or taurine that can overstimulate your system and cause you to feel jittery.

Remember too, sleepiness or fatigue is a common symptom of dehydration so drinking a big glass of water in the afternoon may be all you need to feel awake and energized throughout your day.

What Are Some Other Signs of Dehydration?

People tend to notice some of the more obvious symptoms of dehydration such as thirst and little or no urine output, but miss other symptoms that are frequently linked to hydration issues like:

  • Headache
  • Lightheadedness or Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Dry mouth
  • Urine that is darker than usual

If you notice any of these symptoms, take action and drink water immediately. Better still? Be proactive and keep a bottle of water nearby and drink from it often. If plain water doesn’t appeal, try infusing it with fresh fruit or with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Or if you keep forgetting to drink water regularly, set a timer on your phone, or create a habit of drinking water around certain times of the day (e.g. on awakening, at mid-morning, during lunch and with dinner).

Also, thirst is often confused with hunger, which is why dieters are advised to drink water before grabbing a snack. Some research even suggests drinking water can actually help you feel full.  

Remember, water makes up over 50% of our body weight, and we lose water when we exercise, breathe or use the restroom. So to remain properly hydrated and feel your best, aim to drink those 48 to 64 ounces of water a day.

What can we do for you? The doctors at South Orange Chiropractic Center are experts at helping clients achieve optimal health and wellness--- we’d love to talk with you today!

Microbes In Your Gut Influence Your Health

Microbes In Your Gut Influence Your Health
Published Tuesday, 02 July 2019

Believe it or not,  there are roughly 100 trillion bacteria living inside your digestive system right now. That’s the same as the number of stars that exist in the largest galaxy in the universe! Some of this is “bad bacteria” and some of it is “good bacteria,” but it is all collectively considered your gut microbiota. It’s like its own ecosystem, working to keep your body healthy.

Your microbiota is like a fingerprint: unique to you. About one-third of gut bacteria is the same for each person, but the remaining two-thirds is specific to each individual. And this bacteria can play a huge role in your health, head to toe.

So what do these microbes in your gut actually do? And how do they influence your overall health?

Your Gut and Your Brain

There’s a direct correlation between your gut health and your mental health. Eating the right foods and encouraging a healthy microbiome won’t cure major chemical imbalances, but it can help you get proper sleep, and even elevate your mood.

Your brain is, of course, partially responsible for promoting a healthy sleep schedule, but did you know that your gut plays just as important of a role in getting a good night’s sleep? Ninety percent of your body’s serotonin is found in the gut. Serotonin helps produce melatonin, or “the sleep hormone,” and in fact, there is 400 times the amount of melatonin found in your gut than in your brain.

Recent studies have proven a direct connection between the body’s gut and the brain, and that gut health can have a huge impact on pain, sleep, cortisol levels, and even depression and anxiety. Sleep can help encourage a healthy microbiome, and in turn, healthy flora in the digestive system can promote good sleep patterns and improved mood, and potentially even prevent depression.

Your Gut and Your Body

One of the main ways that your gut bacteria influence your health is your metabolism. These bacteria determine what nutrients you absorb from the food you eat, as well as how many calories your body takes in. Too much gut bacteria can turn fiber into fatty acids, leaving fatty deposits in your liver, which can lead to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.

Having a wealth of healthy microbes in your gut can have a positive influence on fighting disease and lessening the symptoms of some medical conditions. Because of the ability of a strong microbiome to relieve inflammation, developing a healthy microbiome can reduce joint pain for those with rheumatoid arthritis. It can also reduce the risk of some cancers, lower the chances of heart disease, and boost the immune system and its ability to fight melanoma.

In short, having a well-developed microbiome is like preventative medicine.

How You Can Improve Your Gut Health

You can seek out certain foods to encourage a healthy gut. What you eat not only feeds you, it feeds your gut bacteria as well. Because of this, it’s important to think of foods that will help grow your gut microbiome to get all the health benefits of a healthy digestive system.

Ninety percent of our cells are nonhuman cells. Instead, they are microbial cells like the bacteria found in our gut— we really ARE what we eat.

  • Eat a diverse array of foods: Research has shown that 75% of the world eats food from only 12 plant species and 5 animal species, but in parts of the world where they eat a wider range of foods, they have a more diverse array of microbiota in their gut.

  • Choose plenty of fruits, vegetables, and legumes: Vegetables, legumes, and fruits are all high in fiber, which is hard for your body to digest. However, some of the bacteria in your gut can break down and digest fiber. In fact, eating foods higher in fiber stimulates the growth of these bacteria. Foods that are high in fiber include:
    • Broccoli
    • Chickpeas
    • Lentils
    • Raspberries
    • Artichokes
    • Split peas and boiled green peas
    • Chia seeds
    • All varieties of beans (black, pinto, kidney, etc

Generally, a plant-based diet is high in fiber and will encourage a healthy flora of bacteria in your digestive system, among other health benefits like reduced inflammation and lowered risk of cardiovascular disease.

  • Incorporate fermented foods: Foods like kimchi, kombucha, yogurt, and sauerkraut all have healthy, live bacteria cultures that can encourage the growth of bacteria in your gut, can improve digestion and boost immunity. These foods have a strong presence of probiotics, and incorporating probiotic supplements is another way to incorporate these bacteria into your diet.

  • Avoid ultra-processed foods: Food with refined sugars and emulsifiers, and a lack of fiber does not encourage the growth of healthy bacterial flora. Sugary sodas and carb-heavy processed foods feed the bad bacteria living in our gut, causing inflammation and can even promote overeating.

Total wellness doesn’t just include the wellness of your spine and your joints: It starts from the inside. At South Orange Chiropractic, we believe in the wellness and health of the whole body. Do you have questions about how your gut health can impact the health of your joints, and potentially relieve pain? Connect with us today to start your journey towards total health.

About the Sigma Ultralign Adjustment

The Non-Manual Chiropractic Adjustment

About the Sigma Ultralign Adjustment
Published Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Many people avoid chiropractic treatment because they have anxieties or fears about the bending, the quick movements, and the cracking sounds that are traditionally associated with chiropractic. This is unfortunate. So many people that could benefit from chiropractic care opt out and either suffer reduced range of motion, pain or rely on painkillers to get by.

That’s where the Sigma Ultralign adjustment system comes in. This high-tech chiropractic care system has the potential to change many people’s perspective on what chiropractic is and what chiropractic can do. Read on as we discuss what the Sigma Ultralign adjustment system is and what it can do for you:

What is the Sigma Ultralign Adjustment?

The Sigma Ultralign is a computerized chiropractic adjustment system that uses specialized software and adjustment tools to gently and accurately reset skeletal joints and nerves. This takes sudden movements, fear, and potential physical strain out of the chiropractic adjustment process.

How Does the Sigma Ultralign Adjustment Work?

To start, the patient is seated in a specialized treatment chair. The chiropractor holds a handheld sensor instrument over the affected areas. This measures the joint and soft tissue stiffness, providing immediate feedback via the computer workstation. The instrument is then switched to a treatment mode, providing gentle force to adjust the area with precision.

What Sort of Measurements Can the Sigma Ultralign Do?

The Sigma Ultralign measures the mobility/stiffness of the soft tissue (muscles, tendons, ligaments) as well as joints. The system also measures and displays the motion dynamics of the affected area – and it also shows the area before and after treatment.

With this information, the computerized system can pinpoint the adjustment needs and deliver accurate, gentle treatment to the area.

Does the Sigma Ultralign Adjustment Hurt?

No. The Sigma Ultralign Adjustment is designed to deliver a gentle, precision treatment, without pain. The amount of pressure administered is controlled digitally by the computer and is customized to your specific needs based on the analysis of your mobility/stiffness.

The doctor can, of course, make manual adjustments to the pressure and positioning of the instrument if they feel the need. All of this will be a gentle process, with you sitting in a special chair. No bed/laying flat required.

 

I Understand the Sigma Ultralign Adjustment is Performed in a Chair. Do I Have to Lay Down?

Nope! The Sigma Ultralign Adjustment treatment is delivered while you are seated in a specialized C-posture treatment chair that is expertly engineered for comfort and precision use of the instruments.

This style of treatment is especially great for those who have trouble laying down, getting up from laying down or moving around comfortably on a standard chiropractic adjustment table.

What Types of Conditions Can Be Treated With the Sigma Ultralign Adjustment?

The Sigma Ultralign Adjustment can treat the same conditions that are treated with standard, traditional chiropractic adjustments. For adults and children, this machine provides treatment of lower back pain, neck pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, frozen shoulder, and other shoulder mobility issues, knee and ankle pain, headaches, degenerating disks, and foot pain.

Is The Sigma Ultralign as Successful In Treating Pain as a Normal Chiropractic Adjustment?

Absolutely. Treatment with the Sigma Ultralign delivers fantastic results with a highly controlled, gentler adjustment than a traditional chiropractic adjustment, with immediate feedback given to both the doctor and patient via the computer, as once the adjustment has been done, the Ultralign retests the area treated to ensure the adjustment has been done effectively.

How Do I Get A Sigma Ultralign Adjustment?

If you are in the South Orange, Maplewood, Milburn, Summit, or West Orange, NJ area, contact us at South Orange chiropractic for an appointment today!

Building Your Core Strength - Why & How

Building Your Core Strength - Why & How
Published Tuesday, 04 June 2019

When you think about core strength, you envision a flat stomach or six-pack abs. However, core strength goes far beyond looking good in a swimsuit and focuses on more than the abdominal muscles. Our core consists of multiple layers of muscles and not just the abdominals.

What Is the “Core?”

When you hear “core strength,” your mind likely goes straight to that image of a bikini-clad woman in an ad for the latest ab gadget infomercial. While she may, in fact, have a strong core, there are many more components to core strength beyond having washboard abdominals.

The core muscles are found in multiple layers and include muscles in the hips, lower back, chest, and of course, abdominals. These muscles act as stabilizers, allowing you to move and balance properly.

Benefits of Developing and Maintaining a Strong Core

There are many life-improving benefits to having a strong core, from preventing falls to reducing back pain and many points between. Some of the more important benefits are:

Balance and Stability: Your core’s primary function is to stabilize your trunk and offer a strong functional base for your arms and legs, which do a more dynamic movement. A strong core at its most basic function allows you to walk, sit, get up from sitting, lay down flat, and get up with ease.

Injury Prevention: Research has shown that people with increased core stability have a lower risk of injury. The increased strength in the core muscles provides protection against injury to the spine in everyday situations.

Pain Reduction: A body that is held in proper alignment by strong core muscles will be less prone to back and neck pain. A weak core forces other muscles that aren’t suited for the job to jump in and compensate, which can cause further instability, muscle strains, and pain – most commonly the lower back.

Better Posture - Better Breathing: A strong core helps you hold your body in good alignment, which over time lessens the wear and tear on other muscles. Good posture also allows for better, deeper breathing.

Strength and Speed in Sports and Other Exercises: Beyond the basics of helping you easily move throughout your day without fear of injury, having a strong core can help you perform better in sports and other exercises. A strong core can help you run faster, move better overall, and even lift heavier weight - helping you be more efficient in the sport overall.

Basic Moves to Improve Core Strength

As we’ve established, core strength goes beyond the abdominals alone, so to develop core strength, you’ll need to go beyond the standard “ab exercises” of crunches or sit-ups. Here are a few basic full core exercises that you can do at home:

Plank Holds: Place your forearms on the ground, with elbows in line with the shoulders, and arms parallel to your body, shoulder with apart. Push toes into the floor, squeeze your glutes, and stabilize yourself with your head, back, and legs in line. Hold for 20-30-60 seconds as you become more comfortable.

Hollow Body Hold: Lying down on your back with your arms overhead, contract your abdominals, pushing your belly button to your spine. Slowly raise your shoulders and legs up from the ground.

Refer to this video for a detailed demonstration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyrUmzIHmzw

Side Planks: Beginning in the plank position, rotate your body so that you are resting on one arm and foot, the body now perpendicular to the floor. Keep your middle tight as you hold your body straight in this position. Repeat with the other side.

Bird Dog: From the plank position, reach one arm straight out in front of you and the opposite leg straight out behind you, stretching and stabilizing, keeping your trunk still and straight.

Refer to this video for reference on these three exercises: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ql8qf61rCDo

Single Leg Glute Bridge: Lying on your back with both heels close to your bottom, knees up. Extend one leg, and squeezing the glutes, raise your hips to parallel with your knees, keeping both hips even.

Refer to this video for reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4iIHsttaac

Superman Hold: Lying face down with arms stretched out overhead (as if you are flying like Superman), squeeze your glutes and back to raise your chest and legs off the floor. Keep your head neutral, looking down. Release and repeat.

Refer to this video for reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4iIHsttaac

Of course, if you have any questions about if any of these exercises are appropriate for you, would like to discuss modifications or alternatives to these exercises, or you’re wondering how core strength can benefit you specifically, connect with us at South Orange Chiropractic Center.

Make an appointment today!

The Powerful Practice of Mindfulness and Its Unexpected Benefits

The Powerful Practice of Mindfulness and Its Unexpected Benefits
Published Wednesday, 15 May 2019

We’re all so busy. From the minute we wake up until we finally collapse into bed (perhaps only a few hours before needing to get up again), our days are often rigidly scheduled. With work, family, and personal priorities, it can be nearly impossible to find quiet time to just sit, breathe, and pay attention to ourselves.

You’ve probably heard people talk about mindfulness. Perhaps you wonder whether it might be a useful antidote to being perpetually “on the go” and feeling rushed most of the time. Maybe you’ve heard the term in discussions about meditation or seen social media posts about it. You haven’t followed up to see what, exactly, mindfulness is--after all, you’re scheduled for two meetings in the next 15 minutes and then have to run to a dentist appointment. 

We want to take at least one thing off your plate today. We’re going to tell you what mindfulness is, share with you some of its benefits, and a few ways that you can practice it. We know you’re busy, but this will only take a few minutes of your time--we promise! And, one of the great things about mindfulness is that doesn’t have to be a time-sensitive activity, either.

What is mindfulness?

When someone tells us to “be mindful” of something or someone, they are telling us to be careful, and to pay attention to ourselves, others, and our surroundings. Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you practice mindfulness, you pay attention to what you are sensing or feeling, without interpretation or judgment. You become aware of, and acknowledge your current state of being, your thoughts, and your feelings without allowing yourself to get distracted by them.

When you practice mindfulness, you focus on being in the present moment rather than thinking about what you had for breakfast this morning, an argument you had yesterday, or what you are going to do after dinner or the meeting you have next week. Spending time worrying about the past, trying to plan for the future, continually problem-solving, daydreaming, or getting bogged down in random thoughts can be draining. 

Those behaviors can also make you more likely to experience stress, anxiety and symptoms of depression. Engaging in mindfulness can help you shift your thinking away from these potential pitfalls and, instead, allow you to engage with your immediate surroundings.

What are the benefits of mindfulness?

There are many possible benefits of mindfulness, including:

  • Reduced stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Less negative thinking and distraction
  • Improved mood
  • Improved overall health
  • Better ability to cope with rejection and social isolation
  • Offers a healthy way to identify and manage hidden emotions that may be causing problems in our relationships

Sounds great! How can I effectively practice it?

Glad you asked! There are numerous ways that you can practice mindfulness. Here are three:

Idea #1: Engage your senses

Use all of your senses (or as many as possible) to engage with the world around you. For example, where are you sitting as you read this? Are there other noises in the room where you are? Is a delicious-smelling meal cooking? It might seem silly at first, but by paying attention to what your senses are telling you, you are focusing on yourself in the present, and not on the future or the past.

Idea #2: Focus on your breathing

Read this over, and then close your laptop or put your phone down: 

Sit in a quiet place with your back straight, but relaxed. Feel your breath move in and out of your body. Let your awareness of everything else fall away. Pay attention to your nostrils as air passes in and out. Notice the way your abdomen expands and collapses with each breath. When your mind wanders, gently redirect your attention to your breath. Don't judge yourself for getting distracted. You're not trying to achieve something specific, only be aware of what's happening around you.

Idea #3: Pay attention to others

At work, you’re likely to interact with lots of people throughout the day. The next time you talk with someone, pay attention to their words--what they mean, and what the person’s intention is. Focus on listening to understand what another person is telling you, rather than on being ready to respond quickly, possibly with judgement or criticism. 

You should aim to practice mindfulness every day. Start with one week, then try two, then try a month, and so on. Over time, you may discover that it becomes easier to do. Remember, don’t judge yourself if you forget a day or two (or ten), or if you find yourself easily distracted. 

The amount of time that you spend practicing it depends, of course, on your schedule and what activity you are going to do. You may have only a few minutes in the morning to actively focus on your breathing before getting ready to go to work, but discover that you enjoy it and are able to make more time at night. If you want to focus on paying attention to others, that will depend, of course, on the length and content of your conversations, as well as how many people you are able to speak to during the day. But a good starting point may be for 15 to 20 minutes, four to eight times a day.


How can the doctors at South Orange Chiropractic Center help you? Contact us today to set up an appointment.

Poor Posture Affects More Than Your Appearance

Poor Posture Affects More Than Your Appearance
Published Monday, 29 April 2019

The way you stand or sit isn’t just about the way that you look. We all grew up hearing “Stand up straight” or “Don’t slouch. Sit up!” from our parents or teachers. The way we sit, stand, and even sleep impacts the health of our bodies and minds. 

Good posture isn’t something we always think about. However, the effects of poor posture are so significant, it’s probably time to start. The negative impact of poor posture affects much more than your appearance. It can lead to high blood pressure, digestion issues, increased headaches and much more. While some effects take time to show, it’s best to develop good posture habits now.

What is posture?

Posture is the position in which you hold your body while standing, sitting, or lying down. Good posture, as defined by the American Chiropractic Association, is “the correct alignment of body parts supported by the right amount of muscle tension against gravity.”

This is accomplished via the postural muscles, which includes muscle groups like your hamstrings and back muscles. They help maintain your body’s position and balance while sedentary and in action.

6 Effects of Poor Posture

Poor Posture Effect #1: Knee and Foot Pain

Poor posture can create aches and pains or make already achy knees and feet worse. The malalignment of your spine puts extra stress on your legs. Through poor posture, you are forcing your body to carry weight and move in a way that it wasn’t designed to do. This stresses your joints, muscles and bones. 

If you already suffer from arthritis, over time, additional weight and stress will make it worse and cause increasing pain.

Poor Posture Effect #2: Poor Air & Blood Circulation

Slouching your body, rolling your shoulders forward, or rounding your back impacts your body’s circulation; from your breathing to blood pressure. This particularly impacts those that may be sitting for longer periods, such as at a desk or in the car.

Getting up to move regularly throughout the day and being aware of your sitting posture can help your body’s blood flow improve. Poor blood flow can result in high blood pressure, varicose veins, as well as poor breathing and oxygenation.

Poor Posture #3: Digestion & Constipation Issues

Similar to the impact on blood circulation, being in a slumped or slouched position impacts the way that your internal systems function. A weak core or abdominal muscles, and thus poor posture, results in your intestines being squeezed together. This can impact your digestion and your bowel movements, potentially resulting in constipation issues.

Poor Posture #4: Increased Headaches

Typically when we think of posture we think of the position of our spine, shoulders, and hips. However, your head positioning can also be impacted. With poor posture, the head can be placed slightly forward and over time resulting in stiff muscles in your neck, back, and shoulders. Those tightened muscles can get strained causing occasional or frequent tension headaches if posture isn’t improved.

Poor Posture #5: Decreased Energy & Worsening Depression

Posture can affect more than just your body physically. Mentally, posture can affect your energy levels and can even make depression worse. Not only does it impact the way that others see them -- less approachable and less motivated -- but it also affects their own personhood. Multiple studies have found that people with slouched posture are less focused, have lower confidence and less energy.

Although good posture has not been proven to eliminate depression, it can make existing depression worse. In a study by the University of Auckland in New Zealand, “for severe, disabling depression, sitting posture is not likely to make much of a difference. But for mild or moderate depression, sitting up straight may help patients manage their mood and be more productive.”

Poor Posture #6: Fatigue

Studies have also verified the connection between posture and fatigue. Physically, through good posture, your body has improved blood and air flow; your muscles are not working against their intended movement, and our joints and ligaments are bearing less stress. Poor posture requires extra energy to maintain. It’s inefficient and exhausting.

Tips for Improving Your Posture

Developing good posture is a matter of breaking an old habit and developing a new one. This requires you to actively think about the way you carry your shoulders, head, and spine.  Here are some quick tips to help you improve your posture.

 

  • While sitting, keep your feet on the floor or on a footrest.
  • Don’t cross your legs in a sitting position. Your knees should be at or below the level of your hips.
  • Keep your head up. If you are texting or working at a computer, keep your vision up by moving the devices instead of tilting your head down. That will reduce the strain on your neck muscles.
  • In a standing position, keep most of the weight on the balls of your feet.
  • Stand straight and roll your shoulders back to prevent slouching.
  • If you are standing for a long time, occasionally from your toes to your heels, or from one foot to another.  
  • Avoid sleeping on your stomach. Sleeping on your side or back can be more helpful.
  • Adding a special pillow for your knees or head can also improve your posture.

Chiropractic sessions target the body as a whole and can improve your general state of health and wellbeing by boosting your pain-coping capabilities, straightening your spine, and allowing you to battle daily stressors in a more effective manner.

We want to help! Contact the doctors at the South Orange Chiropractic Center today to set up an appointment.

Food As Medicine?

Preventing Chronic Disease With Simple Nutrition Changes

Food As Medicine?
Published Wednesday, 24 April 2019

We all want to be our healthiest selves and, if possible, prevent chronic diseases from developing at some point in our lives. The prospect of living healthier is attractive, of course, but it can be overwhelming because we aren’t quite sure where to start and how to alter our routines.

There are simple nutrition changes that you can make today that can help you prevent chronic diseases. All they require is a quick trip to the grocery store, your local farm stand, or even your own garden.

Chronic Diseases: What are they?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explain that chronic diseases are “defined broadly as conditions that last 1 year or more and require ongoing medical attention or limit activities of daily living or both.”

Some of the most common are heart disease, cancer, chronic lung disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease. 6 in 10 adults live with a chronic disease; 4 in 10 live with two or more. They are the leading causes of developing disabilities or dying.

How can food help prevent chronic disease?

Make sure that you are eating a balanced diet of fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products. Getting regular exercise, quitting smoking, and limiting alcohol consumption are also helpful behaviors in the prevention of chronic disease.

We’re going to give you 6 tips for what you should avoid and what you should eat more of to help you prevent chronic disease.

Tip #1: Reduce red meat and processed meat

We know that lots of people love a cold-cut sandwich for lunch and a great burger or steak for dinner. However, reducing or eliminating red meat as well as processed meats is one way to prevent cardiovascular disease (CVD).

According to research presented by Dr. Michelle McMacken during 2018’s American College of Physicians Internal Medicine Meeting, if you eat no meat, you’ll have a 24% to 29% decreased risk of mortality and a 32% decreased risk of cardiovascular disease incident cases.

Processed meat can increase your chances of developing type 2 diabetes by 37%. Consuming 100 grams of red meat per day increases a person’s risk of developing colorectal cancer by 17%. 50 grams of processed meat per day increases the risk by 18%,

What can you eat instead? Try:

  • fish
  • chicken and turkey
  • nuts
  • beans
  • low-fat dairy products
  • whole grains

Tip #2: Eat less sugar and salt

We know that sugar and salt are incredibly hard to avoid and they make foods taste delicious, but try to be mindful of how much you are consuming every day. Sugar is empty calories, and contributes to risks for developing diabetes, coronary artery disease (CAD), and weight gain that can lead to obesity. Limiting salt (sodium) will lessen your risk of developing high blood pressure which is a risk factor for stroke and coronary disease.

Tip #3: Don’t consume more calories than you need

Many of us eat because we enjoy it (beyond being hungry), and because there are some foods that we love. One way to limit unnecessary consumption of food (and, so, calories) is to add more fiber to your meals.

Adding only 14 more grams of fiber to your daily meals will help you reduce your caloric intake by 10%–18%, according to Dr. McMacken. Rather than focusing on what you might have to actively choose to not eat, by consuming more fiber, you will reduce your hunger naturally, and it will be easier to avoid eating when you aren’t actually hungry.

Tip #4: Eat more fruits and vegetables

Some people love fruits and veggies, while others aren’t as excited to eat them, we know. If you can get them fresh from your garden or local farm, they will be more likely to be more flavorful than fruits and veggies that have been picked, packaged, stored, and shipped to your grocery store. The more you can eat, the better.

Dr. McMacken points out that two-and-a-half servings of fruits and vegetables a day lowers your risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) by 8%, having a stroke by 16%, and dying of anything by 10%. If you love fruits and veggies, you’re really in luck, because seven-and-a-half daily servings are associated with a significant 14% reduction in total cancer risk. Eating fruit daily can also decrease your risk of developing diabetes. If you currently have diabetes, eating fruit daily can lower your risk of complications or mortality.

Tip #5: Eat whole grains

The fiber from whole grains has been associated with lower risks of coronary artery disease and type 2 diabetes. Whole grains also reduce your risk of developing colorectal cancer and whole cancer mortality by 17%, according to Dr. McMaken’s research.

Again, because fiber makes you feel fuller quicker, you are less likely to continue eating when you aren’t hungry. That is a great way to help you maintain or lose weight, preventing obesity, which is a contributing factor to many chronic diseases.

Tip #6: Eat more unsaturated fats and omega-3 fats

Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature can improve cholesterol, lessen inflammation, stabilize heart rhythms and reduce the risk of developing coronary artery disease. They are found in various plant sources.

There are two types of unsaturated fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.

Great sources of monounsaturated fats are:

  • Olive, peanut, and canola oils
  • Avocados
  • Nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans
  • Seeds such as pumpkin and sesame seeds

Great sources of polyunsaturated fats are:

  • Sunflower, corn, soybean, and flaxseed oils
  • Walnuts
  • Flax seeds
  • Fish
  • Canola oil (again!)

Omega-3 fats are a type of polyunsaturated fat that the body cannot make. Fish, flax seeds, walnuts, and canola and soybean oil are great sources of omega-3 fats.


ChooseMyPlate.gov is a website created by the USDA that offers resources, meal suggestions, and tips to help you create nutritious meals to help you maintain your health. If you have questions about your wellness journey, we’re here to help! Contact us today.

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