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How Chiropractic Care Improves Athletic Performance

Athletes benefit from Chiropractics

Spring is usually the time of year where injuries begin to surface for school-aged athletes. For most athletes, summers consist of offseason summer camps or baseball and softball, which are relatively low impact activities when compared to school-year sports. After the summer offseason, multi-sport athletes encounter a combination of high-impact sports like volleyball, football, wrestling and basketball. These sports are strenuous, and adding the intensity of spring track and field season can bring nagging injuries to fruition. 

Athletes experience amazing benefits from chiropractic care not only when ailments arise, but with routine realignments throughout the season. An athlete’s body experiences tremendous amounts of stress weekly and often require different forms of chiropractic care than the average chiropractic patient. 

This type of care is not limited to athletes with sport-specific stress and ailments, however, it includes people who engage in frequent rigorous activities such as weightlifting, CrossFit, powerlifting and other forms of strenuous exercise. Athletes of all shapes and sizes benefit tremendously from chiropractic care.

The spine and core are used for almost every motion in life but are required in every function in sports. With the number of high impact motions an athlete performs, it is only a matter of time before an the spine can become misaligned. Athleticism will be hindered significantly when the spine and core are burdened with ailments, ultimately affecting the athlete’s play and increasing their odds of further injury.

Spinal misalignment impacts the entire body. The spinal column houses the central nervous system. All nerves in the body lead back to the spinal column, which then funnels the nervous system and its communication up to the brain. Think of the brain as the Atlantic Ocean, the spinal column as the Mississippi River, and the nerves scattered throughout the body at the tributaries that travel to it. Like the flow of the US river systems, the neurological messaging eventually leads to the Atlantic. 

Any hiccups and hindrances along this neurological pathway can cause pain in other areas of the body. A painful shoulder may be caused by a misalignment in the upper portion of the spinal column. Shooting leg pain can be caused by an impediment in the lower spinal segments. Subluxations, or minor spinal misalignments, can cause pains in different regions of the body. It’s not uncommon for pain in a limb to be a sign or side effect of subluxation in the spinal column, but it can be fixed with chiropractic care and mobility work.

Chiropractors will find and correct these minor misalignments with spinal manipulation, which is done by physically adjusting the spine. A properly aligned spine will optimize the body’s performance and healing potential. When most think of a body’s “healing potential” they think of healing from an injury, but it’s actually more significant. The body always experiences break down during physical activity, such as the micro tears that occur in muscles that recover to become stronger—it’s how that process works. When the body’s healing potential is optimized, so is the recovery from daily workouts. With this optimization, so too is an athlete’s recovery and progress toward their performance goals optimized. 

Chiropractic care will also help athletes with more painful injuries. While some injuries do require visits to orthopedic doctors, chiropractic care can also be added to the regime to reduce pain and improve healing. Chiropractors and doctors will work together to provide the right treatment for an athlete’s injury.

A well-aligned body will also improve posture, which will in-turn improve mobility and form throughout practices, training and sporting events. When an athlete uses proper form, the chance of injury is minimized. For instance, landing poorly during a long jump or while lifting, increases the chances of injury. An adequately-aligned body will improve an athlete’s ability to keep great form throughout competition and training.

Is Posture important?

Bad posture versus good posturePosture is the position of someone’s body when doing an activity. This activity can be any activity including sitting, standing, or even sleeping. Ergonomics is also a big part of posture and is more the activity you are performing in a work environment.

The spine should have curvatures that correlate with certain areas along with proper alignment of extremities. We look at someone’s posture from two different angles: the side standing and straight on when standing. The side view should show that someone’s ear lines up with the lateral shoulder, lateral hip, and lateral ankle. The view from straight ahead should show that someone is similar and level when comparing the left side of your body to your right side; as in when imagining the person is split in half with an imaginary line.

When poor posture is present, it alters your bio-mechanics and alignment, which causes stress to you and your body. It can cause muscle imbalances where certain muscles become stronger than their antagonist muscle are weaker. A good example of this is when someone with stronger chest muscles and weaker back muscles.

So is posture important? You betcha. A good example would be those people who work at the computer most of the day. The head tends to move forward over the neck causes what is called forward head posture. When this occurs, the weight of your head can increase up to 40 pounds, depending on how far your head is forward in relation to your neck position. So good posture is important for body mechanics but someone with good posture is also seen as more presentable and confident in business. Furthermore, it is less stress on you allowing your body to move and function better, resulting in less tightness and sometime pain symptoms.

Treatment options could include:

  • practicing proper ergonomics/activity modification- preventing future issues
  • an adjustment- to keep your body moving correctly
  • therapeutic exercises/stretches – to help correct/strengthen weaker muscles
  • Soft tissue/muscle work- to help stretch/massage/release the stronger muscles
  • Nutrition- Many reasons but plenty of water to hydrate yourself

So how is your posture? Give us a call today to see how our chiropractors can help you correct your posture and live a less stressful life.

Does Technology Cause Back Pain?

Does technology cause back pain?

Manual labor jobs are on the decline thanks to advancements in technology. Jobs are becoming less physically demanding as the workforce moves from the factory lines to the desk. Technology has certainly made our lives more sedentary.

But as technology makes our lives easier, it comes with problems. Many things in life work as a bell curve. There are limits to everything, as both ends of the bell curve have extremes that should be avoided—too much of a good thing becomes counterproductive. 

This idea applies to technology in the workforce. Manual labor’s peak caused immense physical ailments to line factory workers—there was too much labor and not enough rest. As the workforce migrates from manual labor to desk jobs that are almost exclusively sedentary, researchers are finding that too much not-moving is increasing low back pain throughout the first-world. 

The prevalence of low back pain is on the rise and is unlikely to plateau anytime soon. Researchers believe much of this is due to the increasing number of inactive, or sedentary, workers. In the past, manual labor jobs forced people to be active. Today, people are sedentary at work and have the choice to be sedentary at home.

The body adjusts to its lifestyle and a sedentary body will adapt accordingly. For instance, it’s common knowledge that muscles weaken with an inactive lifestyle. When people think of weak muscles, they think of small arms and a weak bench press. But this is not the case. Gym-goers and active people aren’t just training to “look hot.” Sure, they don’t have a day dedicated to lower back, but each activity they do strengthens their lower back. Just like the bell curve mentioned earlier, however, too much activity can also lead to back pain and potential injury. 

How sedentariness causes back pain

When a sedentary person’s lower back muscles weaken, more force is applied to the spine ancauses back problems. Low back pain can ruin an entire day. This is because your lower back is used in almost everything. Do you remember in gym class when the teacher would torture the class with a core workout? Do you remember how your abdominals hurt when doing anything the next day? The same applies to your lower back. What many people do not realize is that your low back is actually a part of your core, not just your abdominals. 

The core portion of your body plays a vital role in twisting, lifting and stability, functions that are utilized in all forms of exercise. When your body is active, no matter the activity, your core is engaged and firing. But don’t worry, it won’t hurt like gym class the next day. Core muscles are stability muscles and take much more effort to cause soreness. 

In addition, the increases in sedentary lifestyles also correlate with the increasing prevalence of obesity. The lack of activity leads to lower caloric usage and a decreased metabolism—less activity leads to less muscle mass, which causes the body to burn fewer calories.

How to fix, or manage, lower back pain before it’s too late

Chronic back pain can eventually become severe enough to cause permanent problems. But fortunately, many cases of chronic low back pain have multiple avenues to actively treat, halt and even reverse their effects. Exercises such as weightlifting, jogging, walking, active hobbies or simply remaining active with your children are some the more common ways, as long as this activity is frequent throughout each week. In addition, chiropractic manipulations will realign your spinal column, alleviate pain and prepare you for your new active lifestyle. 

It’s important to note that the core of your body is used in almost every motion. Back pain will happen to everyone due to the sheer exposure to injury opportunities. But these flare-ups will become episodes, not daily ailments, as you become active and strengthen those muscles.

Child Ear Infections: Symptoms, Side Effects, and How Chiropractic Care Can Help

Ear Infections in Children

Children commonly experience ear infections, most frequently from infancy to around 8 years old. After this age range, the likelihood of ear infection falls off tremendously.

The major reason behind the dramatic fall off of ear infections is caused by the changes in anatomy, meaning that a child’s current developing anatomy is the main burden causing these ear infections. As a child grows, which they do rather rapidly, joints, passageways shift, sometimes into abnormal positions. Some of these passageways and joints become fixated in positions that hinder proper function; positions they will not be in once growth in finished, usually around adulthood. This is the case with ear infections.

But did you know chiropractic adjustments can help prevent these ear infections?

To start, let’s first address ear infections. What causes them?

Most ear infections are caused by viral or bacterial infections. The eustachian tubes run from the ear to the back of the throat and act as the main highway of the ears draining processes. When these tubes become swollen or blocked, fluids can build up, creating a list of unwanted side effects such as ear pain, pressure, dizziness, impaired hearing and can even impair balance. This can be especially problematic for young children. 

Similar to how humans are more susceptible to Osgood Shlatter and Sever’s Disease during puberty, early childhood is the time of a person’s life where the eustachian tubes are most susceptible to clogging.

So how can chiropractic care help?

Routine chiropractic care is safe, non-invasive and non-addictive for everyone. Chiropractors know that children need a different form of adjustments, so the chiropractic manipulation techniques used by the chiropractor are more gentle and tender. Sometimes children may only need to have a joint realigned or stretch out and head in the correct position to solve a problem using no force whatsoever. But other techniques will apply very minimal force.

Routine chiropractic adjustments keep your body in line and keep the ways your body communicate with itself free of roadblocks. This is how chiropractic care can aid in preventing ear infections. These routine adjustments will shift the eustachian tubes and their surrounding parts into proper alignment, allowing them to drain as they are intended.

Be proactive, look for these symptoms in children for signs of an ear infection, as they develop quite rapidly. If caught in the early stages, chiropractic care might be the only solution you will need to solve the problem and avoid antibiotics entirely.

  • Ear pain, worsened when lying down
  • Difficulty falling and staying asleep
  • Fluid drainage from the ear(s)
  • Hearing problems, which will increase as the infection progresses
  • Loss of balance
  • Fever
  • Head ache

Child, specific symptoms

  • Tugging or pulling the ear
  • Difficulty falling and staying asleep
  • Increased crying
  • Irritability
  • Hearing difficulties
  • Fever

Long Term Side Effects

Despite treatment for ear infections being relatively routine, ear infections cause lasting side effects, when left untreated or occur to frequently can cause:

  • Impaired hearing, specifically if the middle ear becomes permanently damaged.
  • Speech or development delays: Children are like sponges, they have much to learn in their early years in order to build a solid foundation used in all aspects of their adult life. If children have trouble hearing because of an ear infection, they will have trouble learning language or even simply understanding everything they might be taught in a classroom.
  • Spread of infection: while rare, serious middle ear infections can spread to other nearby tissues. Again, it’s rare, but cases of meningitis have occurred.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

It is a time of year for sugar cookies, peanut butter balls, Rudolph, and Santa.  It is a wonderful time of year to relax and spend time with family.   From our family to yours, we want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

©Kelsey Buss Photography

Nutrition and Your Health

Healthy food example

This day and age, many people look to medicine and supplements for their health. While those things certainly have their place in healing, we often overlook two important factors that play a huge part in our health and wellness – diet and exercise. Keep in mind that we aren’t necessarily talking Adkins, Keto, or Paleo and we’re not talking working out for an hour every day. We’re not going to tell you how to lose 30 pounds in 3 weeks. We’re simply talking the nutrients and movement your body needs just to stay healthy. So, here are some great tips to help your body run efficiently so it can do more of what it’s supposed to – keep you healthy.

Drink Plenty of Water

We’ve talked about this before and we’ll probably talk about it again. Take your body weight in pounds, divide that in half and that number is how many ounces of water you should be drinking a day. (Example: If you weight 150 pounds, you should be drinking 75 ounces of water each day.) In the dry, winter months, you need to drink even more to keep your body hydrated.

Eat Veggies

We all grew up with the food pyramid that told us to eat a lot of grains, lots of fruits and veggies, then dairy and meat towards the top. The reality is, we need more veggies than anything. That’s where a lot of the nutrients our body needs comes from. Now, while you should be eating other foods as well, we typically don’t have as big of a problem getting in our grains and proteins as we do getting our veggies and fruits. If we’re eating all the nutrients our body needs, we don’t need to worry about taking supplements.

Move Around

Your body needs it. We weren’t made to lay or sit all day. Our bodies need gravity and motion to get all our organs functioning properly and to get all the nutrients to where they’re supposed to go. Try getting up and walking around your office for 5 minutes every hour or take a walk around the block a couple times a day. A minimum of 20 minutes of activity daily is ideal. Just get your heart rate up for a bit!

Try starting with these three practical tips for a few weeks and see how you feel. You’ll be amazed at how much more energy you have! At Fletcher Chiropractic, we strive to get the body functioning at peak condition so it can do what it needs and you can do what you need. Schedule an appointment today and we can help you find a customized approach to your overall wellness.

Ten Reasons to see a Chiropractor

A chiropractor is massaging a woman, administering chiropractic careDid you know…

Chiropractors are the third largest group of medical practitioners? That’s right! And, one out of ten Americans goes to a chiropractor each year. Why? Well…

1. It’s inexpensive: Chiropractic treatments are a cost-effective alternative for treating a wide range of conditions.

2. Your insurance most likely will cover it: Chiropractic care is recognized by healthcare programs and covered by most insurance programs.

3. Chiropractic care is more common than you may think: Chiropractic care is the fastest growing primary health care profession in the US.

4. Going to the chiropractor can help you in the long run: Chiropractic is typically viewed as something to correct an issue, but it also can prevent issues.

5. They can fix “underlying” issues: Chiropractic care sometimes fixes things patients didn’t know were wrong. Long-time aches, pains, and other health issues that the patient assumed were normal are often corrected by a chiropractor.

6. It can be a tremendous benefit for athletes: Studies show athletes benefit from regular chiropractic care. Chiropractors can help athletes improve their range of motion which may prevent injuries.

7. Headaches: Headaches can occur for a number of reasons, including dehydration, or there could be a misalignment in the neck or spine. A chiropractor can help to relieve symptoms of headaches and improve blood flow which will increase the amount of oxygen that is supplied to the brain.

8. Chronic Back Pain: One of the most obvious signs that a chiropractic visit is needed is if you are experiencing chronic back pain. There are many factors that be a factor in back pain such as posture, how long you’re on your feet each day, and the type of work that you do. A chiropractic doctor can provide you with pain relief without the need for invasive surgery or narcotics.  

9. Improve Sleep: A National Sleep Foundation Poll found that 60% of American adults experience sleep problems at some point in their lives. Chiropractic treatments help improve blood flow in patients, which is crucial for great sleep.

10. You want to live a more Health Conscious Life: If you want to live a more health conscious life, or just want to be more aware of how to best take care of your body, your chiropractor is an excellent source of information.

If you can relate to any of the signs mentioned above, its time to pick up the phone and contact Fletcher Chiropractic.

Fall Sports and the Chiropractor

Fall sports season is here. This is a vulnerable time for young student-athletes, especially for multi-sport student-athletes. While teenagers might think they’re invincible, constantly moving from one sport to another with minimal rest and intense practices can lead to overuse injuries and misalignments. Some people may not be interested in becoming life-long chiropractic patients, but the beginning of a new season is the perfect time for athletes to periodically stop into the chiropractor’s office for an adjustment.

Young athletes are more susceptible to injury

Fixing misalignments is especially important for athletes during puberty. Teenagers experience the second fastest rate of growth during these years, with the fastest during infancy to early childhood. Throughout puberty, bones solidify, muscles bulge, and formerly cartilage-filled growth plates harden into bone. Problematic misalignments can cause lasting effects if they impede on a teenagers growth.

Not only do the growth rates intensify, but the sports do too. Most athletes kick their sports up a level when they enter high school, while others are just starting. In addition, this is when young athletes start to show who is capable of advancement to play at even higher levels, such as collegiate or even professional. Those athletes will increase their intensity for the opportunity while their less intense teammates are on the receiving end. Whether your athlete is a next-level player or not, all will experience the heightened intensity.

Pain is often the last cue of a misalignment; it’s your body’s reaction to a problem. Taking that a step further, a pain in a specific region of the body might be caused by a hindrance in a different area; if there is stress in one area, your body will compensate in another. Chiropractors recognize that and treat the body as a whole to help cover each region to fix the pain-inflicting misalignment.

Helps athletes gain an edge.

According to the American Chiropractic Association, “Experts estimate that 90 percent of all world-class athletes use chiropractic care to prevent injuries and increase their performance potential.  All National Football League (NFL) teams rely on DCs in varying capacities, and 77 percent of athletic trainers have referred players to a chiropractor for evaluation or treatment.”

Chiropractic care can enhance muscular function, body control, coordination, mobility, and mechanics. An athlete’s musculoskeletal system plays a major role in all activities. Misalignments can hinder bodily function such as strength, speed, mechanics, and can even lead to injury. These misalignments can cause certain muscles to work more or less, causing strain and overuse injuries.

Growing Pains

Even if your child chooses to focus on the academic route and shys away from athletics, their body still goes through immense changes. Teenagers do not always carry themselves with optimal posture and every teenager is still likely to be active outside of school, whether it be biking or simply horsing around with friends. No matter their athletic abilities, they still have loads of energy that needs to be spent. Misalignments are bound to happen during these periods of rapid growth, some can even lead to headaches that interfere with academic performance. You should strongly consider bringing your student into the chiropractor if they experience frequent headaches or are struggling with growing pains.

Other ways to stay healthy

Weight management. Children and adults should strive to maintain a healthy weight. The extra weight and force on the joints can leave people more vulnerable to injury. Extra weight requires the musculoskeletal system to bear more weight and force than it’s equipped to handle.

Warm-Up before engaging in any sort of activity. Whether it be sports, gardening, or any physical activity, take some time to activate your muscles and blood flow by stretching for 5 to 10 minutes. Spending these few extra minutes to warm up will help prevent injury and even prevent soreness the next day, especially if you stretch before and after the activity.

Stretch throughout the day, in between classes or whenever you have been sitting for a long time. Immobile muscles affect range of motion and can lead to misalignments. Taking time to periodical stretch and work on mobility is an effective measure for preventing misalignments and injury.

Rest. While many collegiate and professional athletes talk about “taking no days off,” please take some days off, at least physically. Rest is a vital part of every exercise regime as it gives time for your body to recover from the physical toll it’s taken. Make sure an athlete takes a few days off from physical activities and spends a day or two a week out of the weight room and off the field. Maybe utilize these days to watch tape of themselves or other athletes to improve their technique. That’s one way to take a day off physically, while still taking no days off of their game.

Our Homemade Salsa Recipe

Summer is coming to an end, along with the gardening season so a good way to finish up the garden is making salsa.   A staple in our house through out the year is canned salsa but today, we thought we would share our fresh salsa recipe with you!

 

You need the following:

1/2 White Onion

1 Cilantro bundle

Few Jalapenos (Optional)

1 Lime

10-15 Roma Tomatoes

1-2 Green Peppers

1 glove of Garlic

 

Step 1.  Submerge the tomatoes in boiling water for 30-60 seconds followed by an ice bath.   Then remove skins then core and remove seeds from tomatoes.

Step 2.   Chop up Onions, Peppers, Jalapenos, garlic, and cilantro into fine pieces.  Roughly a quarter of an inch.

Step 3.   Add everything you chopped up from step 2 and add tomatoes from step 1 into a blender.   Pulse for 15-30 seconds depending on your desired texture of salsa.

Step 4.   Cut lime and add juice to salsa.

Step 5.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow for thickening.

 

Then enjoy your salsa!   Keep in mind that this is fresh salsa and not canned salsa.

 

What is acupuncture? How does it work?

Closeup of hand performing acupuncture therapy on customer's back at salonYou have seen it in movies and commercials, and some think it looks painful. Even if you have never tried acupuncture before, you know there are many benefits. If one thing is for sure, you’ve probably wondered at some point, “What is acupuncture?”

Acupuncture stems from traditional Chinese medicine. Acupuncture as a practice dates back to the Han Dynasty of 100 BC, according to records, but was likely utilized before then. Today’s practice evolved past its ancient origins and modernized significantly.

Acupuncture is a unique system of techniques that treats its patients by stimulating points in the body, often with very thin needles, and helps encourage the body to heal naturally. Ancient acupuncture philosophy states when the flow of energy—called “qi (pronounced chee)—is blocked or hindered, pain and illness occur.

Acupuncture has shown to be a proven treatment option for pain and certain illnesses. The World Health Organization recognizes a list of diseases, symptoms and conditions which acupuncture is an effective treatment based on controlled trials. Here’s a list of some of the more common and known diseases listed:

  • Low-back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Osteoarthritis/Knee Pain
  • Headache

So how does acupuncture work?

Most acupuncture points are located on or near the surface of the skin. The acupuncturist will insert a very fine needle 1/4 of an inch to an inch deep into these acupuncture points. Needless acupuncture and electrical stimulation are used on children to avoid puncturing their skin.

Ancient acupuncturists were on to something with “qi.” One hypothesis states when the needles stimulate the nerves, sending signals to the brain that release mood-boosting chemicals into throughout the body. The body is electric by the way cells communicate with each other. Endorphins are the body’s natural pain-killing chemicals and affect the areas of the brain controlling serotonin. These pain-killing chemicals actually block the pain messages, with other regulatory effects as well, like improving mood.

An acupuncturist will adjust the needles and apply heat, electrical stimulation, or herbs, throughout the 10 to 30-minute session. The adjustments help target the acupuncture points and nerves in different ways and at angles.

Does acupuncture it hurt?

The needles are much thinner than injection or sewing needles, but you will still feel a slight prick.  Afterward, you may experience some bruising and soreness, but this will subside shortly as acupuncture is one of the safer treatment options available. One major benefit of acupuncture is the only side effect is soreness, whereas drugs can carry a list of adverse side effects. In addition, the chance of infection from the needles is eliminated due to regulatory guidelines that require acupuncturist to only use new, sterile needles—just like doctors.

What should I do after an acupuncture treatment?

Bring a friend to drive you home after the first session, as acupuncture tends to have a calming effect. Gauge your feelings after and decide if a friend is necessary for the next sessions. The number of sessions needed depends on a patient’s condition, but one session is not enough. Generally speaking, most treatments plans are around 10 sessions for three months.

If you would like additional information on acupuncture, call Fletcher Chiropractic, or reach out to us online.

Contact

Fletcher Chiropractic
4300 S 48th St Suite 7 | Lincoln, NE 68516
Phone: 402-261-5766 | Fax: 402-261-5943

Office Hours
Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday: 8 am- 5:30 pm
Thursday: 8 am – Noon
Friday: 8 am – 4:30 pm
Saturday: By Appt. only | Sunday: Closed
After hour appts available Mon/Wed

Testimonials

Life was very painful.  I never felt good and medications really have not helped.Following Treatment: I am much improved but I still recognize my limitations and I need to make more lifestyle changes to make ...
I am very active but hampered by lower back pain.  It prohibited me from participating in firefighter training.Following Treatment:  I am back to doing everything I love without the restriction of pain. Fletcher Chiropractic taught ...
Being from a small town, I love mom and pop shops.  I like the personal level and hands-on approach that Fletcher Chiropractic takes when it comes to chiropractic care. Fletcher Chiropractic was very personable and ...
My pain has been with me since 1996 and my feet and legs were totally painful.  Walking is like walking on glass or nails and then the burning pain in my toes would start.Following acupuncture ...
Life was manageable.  As a runner, I was able to run without issue, but not without tightness and occasional pain.  Throughout the day, perhaps 2-3 days a week, my knee, calf, and shin experienced significant ...
Life was good but my condition was bad.  I lead a very active lifestyle with weightlifting, judo, etc and along with my job, the pressure on my back was incredible.  My movement was restricted and ...
I experienced chronic pain in my right foot from heel spurs.  Orthotics were not enough to correct the problem.  After 6 months of not sleeping well and associated problems of fatigue, I sought help at ...
I was in a mental fog.  I couldn't think or concentrate and was not doing well.Following acupuncture treatment: I am much better. My mind is clear and my work performance has improved. Julie A.
I stopped doing things I enjoyed, like working out.  I felt limited in my activities and sleeping was becoming an issue with my neck pain.Following treatment: Its so much better. I can workout, take long ...
Working with Dr. Kadi has changed my life. Before going to her, I was stiff and had pain in my neck, back, hips, legs and feet.Following Treatment: Working problem areas and doing exercises she has ...
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