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5 Steps to Improve Your Health

Hello, Keith Clinic Family…want to feel like an All-Star? Want to find a way to have a better 2019 and be at your best?  Well, with the 2019 NBA All-Star week upon us in Charlotte we wanted to discuss a plan that can get you feeling like a star or should we say All-Star.  This blog will be a step by step plan focused on 5 topics that will boost your overall health. 

 

Step 1. Drinking more water.   

We listed this step as the first because the majority of patients we see are drinking inadequate amounts of water.  Water is one of the most important things we can put in our bodies. It makes up roughly 70% of our cells and it is a basic building block and component for a variety of metabolic processes.   Dehydration or lack of water creates a situation where our body is functioning at a slower rate.

To make sure we are drinking enough water on a daily basis the target amount is going to be 70-80% of your body weight.  For example, if someone ways 200 lbs. they should be drinking roughly 160 oz. of water a day.  

The following are things that can be benefited by hydrated on a daily basis

–        Improves brain function

–        Weight management

–        Flushes toxins

–        Boosts immune system

–        Prevents headaches

–        Restores muscle integrity

–        Helps skin complexion

 

Step 2. Regulating Sleep Patterns

The second step in creating the All-Star version of you in 2019 would be regulating sleep patterns.  Having a regulated sleep pattern is a very important part of health.  Sleep functions to support all aspects of our body from the cells to cellular processes (energy production), organ function, hormone production, and brain function.  All of which we depend on to function at a high level on a daily basis.  It is suggested that adults need on average 7-8 hours of sleep a night.  While children need anywhere from 8-14/15 hours of sleep depending on age (the younger you are the more sleep you need).    Sleep deprivation can have a major impact on one’s life, preventing our bodies’ ability to renew, restore, and repair.  Without sleep, our mind and body are unable to process and problem solve appropriately. Thus, we are unable to function and maintain function to meet the demands of everyday life.  So to create a better sleeping pattern, one must not only get the appropriate hours of sleep they must ensure they are getting quality sleep.  To get quality sleep we suggest setting up a routine that allows one to fall asleep and wake up at the same time daily.   By doing so, your body will become accustomed to this pattern over time allowing you to have the proper amount and quality of sleep to provide some of the following benefits. 

–        Helps the body heal/repair

–        Reduces inflammation

–        Improves brain function (memory)

–        Reduces stress

 

Step 3. Altering diet

The third step in our All-Star plan is altering diet.  Now we are not going to go into large detail about any one diet in particular for this blog. There are a variety of diets that are each individually suited for specific benefits and needs.  This blog is going to be more of a strategy to begin altering your diet and health to live a better life.  To begin here is a basic strategy to begin eating healthier.

–        Emphasis on veggies and fruits

o   Particularly leafy greens (cruciferous veggies)  

–        Reduced fats, salts, and sugars

o   Healthy fats (avocados, olive oil)

–        Eating lean sources of protein (chicken, turkey, fish)

–        Eating whole grain vs. refined grain (whole wheat vs. white bread)

–        Monitoring dairy intake

o   Switching to almond milk, soy, or low-fat milk vs. whole or 2%

–        Controlling portion size

o   Eating multiple smaller size portion meals as opposed to a few large meals

o   Adding in healthy snacks throughout the day to help stop cravings

The goal of altering your diet is to make sure your body has all of the essential building blocks to promote optimal function and health.  With that being said an easy way to jump-start that is by adding vitamins or supplements to your everyday routine.  Adding supplements or a multivitamin to your daily routine can be a good starting point down the road to a healthier self.  For example, one can add a simple B complex supplement to their diet that will provide a multitude of benefits which include the following.

–        Boosting energy production

–        Boosting the immune system

–        Helping heart health

–        Boosting hormone function

 

Step 4. Exercising

Our 4th step in our All-Star plan will be to exercise.  Exercising is one of the basic building blocks in any plan to become healthier and is probably what many people think of as the easiest way to maintain health.  With that being said regular exercise has a multitude of benefits which include the following

–        Helps control/manage weight

–        Helps you increase life expectancy

–        Improves overall mood/energy levels

–        Promotes better sleep patterns

–        Supports muscle/bone maintenance

–        Decrease the risk of chronic disease

Our goal in adding exercise is to start small and too slowly work into a normal routine.  Our suggestion for a beginner is to add very simple things into your weekly routine.  This can be as easy as taking the stars compared to elevator/escalators, parking further from the door at grocery stores/shopping centers/work or even getting out during the day for a walk/ jog/ run.  Once this has been added to the routine, you can then begin to add other aspects such as increasing the frequency, adding in other exercises (pushups, sit ups, squats, etc.) or going to the gym.  The biggest aspect of step 4 with exercising is just staying active and moving.  Whether it is some of the things we discussed or others, the key is movement.  Movement is life and as a chiropractor, we want to ensure that you are moving daily to allow the body to be at its peak. 

 

Step 5. Seeing your Keith Clinic Chiropractors

Our 5th and final step in this process is, of course, to visit your local Keith Clinic and see one of our wonderful docs.  By adding chiropractic to your life as a wellness routine you can see a variety of benefits, including.   

–        Decrease in pain

–        Increase in range of motion

–        A decrease in chances of injury

–        Improved body function

–        A multitude of other health benefits. 

Whether to just improve body function or for an injury visiting your chiropractor can have a large impact on your overall health.  Our doctors at Keith Clinic suggest a regular wellness schedule typically around once per month but can vary depending on the individual.  Our goal in chiropractic is to improve your body’s ability to function optimally.  All of our doctors here at Keith Clinic strive to help support the healthiest version of yourself or once again should I say your All-Star self. 

As always if you have any questions in regards to this blog, your health, or chiropractic please contact us at any of our THREE locations all around Charlotte!

In good health,

Dr. Cole Valko

Core Strength: Beyond the Six Pack

Labeled diagram of the muscles inside a human torso

“Show me a six-pack and I will show you dysfunction.”

– Dr. Brett Winchester, DC, DNS Instructor, MPI Board

As the holidays are leaving us and the warmer weather is fast approaching, everyone is hitting the gym doing 45 minutes’ worth of crunches. This quote will hit home and confuse many people. We as a society have been taught to believe that a thin stomach and walking around with a 6-pack is ideal. Unfortunately, we are here to tell you that it is not.

Although pleasing to the eye, a tight stomach and abs actually shows a lot of dysfunction. In order to accomplish getting a perfect six-pack, the oblique muscles actually start to waste away creating a hollowing effect on each side. While walking around and maybe even right now as you read this, most people suck in their tummies trying to create the appearance of a flatter stomach. As you suck the stomach in, you recruit the muscles in your lower back which increases overall tone leading to dysfunction in the joints. In order to breath, the muscles of your neck will start to be used which causes large trigger points between the shoulder blades and at the base of the head. Desk Jockeys almost always complain of neck and or lower back pain because they are using big muscle to stabilize their core and to breathe. These larger muscles fatigue much quicker and have to work harder to perform these tasks.

The core is made up of several muscles, not just the six-pack like most people are lead to believe. The rectus abdominis is the most superficial muscle and will create the 6 pack that most people are looking for. Next are your external and internal oblique muscles that run like an X on top of one another. The deepest layer of your core is created by the transversus abdominis muscle which is actually the biggest lower back stabilizer in the body. Its fibers run side to side and act like an internal back brace – if you know how to use it! Just under your rib cage is the diaphragm, a very important muscle used to help facilitate a stable and fully functioning core.

All of these muscles are designed to work together to stabilize the spine and body during movement. It has been shown in studies that improper activation of the core can predict injury to the lower back in overhead and kicking sports. When these muscles are not used correctly and movement of the arms or legs begins, extra stress the back endures which can result in a strain of the muscles or injury to the joints.

So when doing crunches, you are training only the rectus abdominis. This creates a shortening effect of the muscle and fascia. When tone is held in this muscle all the time, other muscles will begin to turn off and we begin to see a hollowing effect or “gutters” begin to form in the abdomen. While the transversus abdominis is the biggest lower back stabilizer, it is also the most common weak or inhibited in terms of the core.

The diaphragm plays a large role in the proper activation of the entire core. This dome-shaped muscle will flatten towards the abdominal contents as it contracts, increasing the pressure inside the belly wall. As the pressure increases, it forces the transversus abdominis and oblique muscles to eccentrically contract or lengthen and tighten as they contract. This eccentric contraction is what creates stability in the lumbar spine which prevents injury with various movements of the arms and legs.

Proper motion in the thoracolumbar junction and in the pelvis also helps create an ideal environment for these muscles to properly activate. Most of the muscles of the core have attachments in both areas so with increased tone or fixation, there is increased pull and stress on the core which does not allow for the most effective activation.

What is the best way to train these muscles?

Through several take-home exercises! Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization or DNS is a rehab treatment that was founded at the Prague Institute of Rehabilitation. Some of the leading experts in conservative care of low back pain and stabilization came from this school and created extensive research in which exercise progression is the best for facilitating an ideal environment for activation of the entire core. Much of our doctor’s training and exercises have been taught and utilized from them!

During some of our doctor’s schooling and many internships, they were able to study alongside some of the instructors for this technique and actually teach patients under their supervision using these concepts. Our doctors believe that proper exercises that promote core strength should be at the key of all treatments, including things like shoulder pain and ankle pain. When the proper base is taught, trained and understood, the progressions through other training go much smoother. This includes squat form, overhead throwing mechanics and even kicking. With a strong, properly activated core, the muscles of the rest of the body begin to also activate more efficiently, decreasing the risk of injury.

An awesome place to actually see this proper activation at work is in the UFC arena.

If you took a photograph of a fighter mid punch, as seen above in Conor McGregor, you will notice their rib cage is stacked on top of their pelvis similar to a barrel through their mid-section. There is also no tone held in the six-pack and there are no gutters seen on either side. This is because, in order to create the most efficient and powerful blow, there must be a very efficient core activation to create a stable base! Although most of these fighters will suck in for photos, you will notice a relatively relaxed core as they are bouncing around inside the ring.

Keep this in mind as you train your core next time! Think in terms of functionality instead of just looks! Stay blessed.

Dr. Casey Schneible (view bio)

 

Understanding Your Injury: Whiplash

 

One of the most common injuries seen and treated at Keith Clinic is the whiplash injury. Whiplash injuries or acceleration-declaration injuries occur due to rapid back and forth movements sustained to the body (neck or back most commonly). 

It comes from the cracking of a whip hence the name whiplash.   

The back and forth movements can happen in any direction but most commonly are in the manner of hyperextension to hyperflexion (backwards bend to forwards bend).  Many people commonly associate the whiplash injury with car accidents when in fact this injury occurs any time the body experiences the high force jerking motions.  For example, whiplash can commonly occur in sports injuries, riding a rollercoaster, or even a slip and fall.  Anytime someone experiences this type of injury the sudden jerking motions result in an overstretching to our body. 

When tissues in our body are overstretched, specifically muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints tearing can occur.  Imagine a rubber band, if you take that rubber band and stretch it out as far as you can eventually it will fail, resulting in that rubber band breaking. Now you may be thinking, wait a second…tearing?

Well yes, tearing occurs but this tearing is referred to as microtrauma.  Meaning that it happens on a much smaller scale to the individual fibers that help make up these tissues. 

The resulting overstretching/tearing causes sprain and strains to occur in our tissues.  Since sprains/strains have a direct overstretching/tearing effect to our muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints it can become very difficult to perform routine day-to-day activities.   Why does it become difficult to perform our day to day activities, well that’s because all of these tissues are designed to help us move and function and when these tissues have damaged a variety of symptoms occur. 

These symptoms range from neck pain, headaches, shoulder pain, back pain, pain in the extremities, burning, numbness/tingling, dizziness, visual disturbances, trouble swallowing, and fatigue.  In many instances, these symptoms may not present for a period of 12-24 hours with some symptoms not presenting for several days or weeks.  

You may be wondering why these symptoms can take time to appear well that is because the body is going through an inflammatory process and these things take time.  After an injury, your body produces adrenaline allowing the body to better function during the initial stages of a stressful situation, such as an injury. As the adrenaline wears off, the body begins to experience swelling and stiffening of the injured tissues, aka inflammation.  Thus resulting in a variety of symptoms you may be experiencing.  

To better explain the slew of symptoms that one can experience from whiplash we must understand more of the mechanics of the injury and its effect on how the body functions.  Looking back to the sprain/strains that are resultant from the subsequent jerking motion of whiplash.   Specific areas of the body are affected, all of which are pain sensitive structures. This includes the facet joints, nerve roots, discs, ligamentous structures, and muscles.  One or multiple of these tissues can be affected. 

For example, once muscles, tendons, and ligaments are injured they are going to affect how those areas ultimately move.  These areas are affected by a loss or increase in range of motion.  This change in motion or mechanics puts an added stress on the joints specifically the facet joints.  This added stress leads to irritation and ultimately pain.  Depending on which level of the neck is affected different patterns of pain are produced. 

Imagine a scenario where irritation is occurring to the facet joints of the upper neck.  When the facet joints are irritated here, pain may be experienced around the base of the skull vs. irritation to the lower facet joints, which results in pain around the shoulder blade.    

Now we have discussed pain produced by the muscles and facet joints, what happens when nerves are affected?   When nerves are affected in the body symptoms of burning, numbness, tingling, or shooting pain occur in the extremities. 

This occurs due to a compression or irritation to the nerve or nerve root.  This compression or irritation occurs due to the affected muscles, tendons, ligaments and ultimately joints. When they are not moving and functioning appropriately they can impinge or decrease the space in which a nerve is traveling.  

Imagine a garden hose. When the hose is turned on and straight the water comes out evenly and flows well.  When the hose is kinked or bent, the water comes out more sporadically and does not flow as well.  Our nerves work in the same manner when they are compressed the signal does not travel well and our body informs us by producing the symptoms explained above.  

The next question you may be having, what do I do if I have suffered from whiplash and am experiencing the pain described above. 

Well, you’re in luck; all of our doctors at Keith Clinic are educated in understanding these injuries and are able to develop a plan that is unique for your needs.   

What can we do for you?

To begin, our team of wonderful doctors will begin by evaluating your condition and injury by conducting a thorough history, examination, and special testing.  The examination includes an overall assessment of how the body functions including vital signs, range of motion, orthopedic testing, neurological testing, functional assessment, postural screenings, etc.  After an examination, our team can determine if any special testing is necessary including X-ray, CT scan, or MRI.

Once the evaluation is complete we will line out a treatment plan that is uniquely designed for you.  Our treatment plan will be focused on healing your injuries and allowing the body to function at its optimum level.  These treatments can include the following: chiropractic adjustments, rehabilitative stretching/exercise, electric muscle stimulation, therapeutic ultrasound, soft tissue therapy, cold laser, intersegmental traction, and a variety of others.

Sounds interesting or have experienced a whiplash injury, please contact our office at 704-405-7000 and request your FREE CONSULTATION today. 

In good health,

Dr. Cole Valko

Posture – Do You Use A Computer or Cell Phone?

In today’s world, much of our days are spent sitting at a computer for many hours at a time or just sitting in general. Here are a few key points about why this may be detrimental in the long run especially to our younger generation.

 

Winter Chiropractic AilmentsNow since we started talking about posture, I bet you perked up in your seat doing your best to improve how you have been sitting this morning (if you haven’t…you can do NOW!). Although this is great, if your computer screen is not at least sitting at eye level, there is probably some degree of forward head posture in your neck. While in a relaxed sitting posture, your ears should sit over your AC joint which is the large bump on the top of the shoulder. For every inch forward that your head moves from here, there are about 10 extra pounds added to your head. Think about normal physics we learned in high school or think about a bowling ball. If you hold a bowling ball close to your body…then you usually can hold it for a long time with no issues. Now, what if you took a 10 lb bowling ball and pushed it way out in front of you while trying to keep your arms straight? I bet you wouldn’t be able to hold it there long. This is exactly what is happening with your head when it is moved forward over your shoulders. This leads to extra strain of the muscles, joints, and nerves in the back of the neck trying to hold it up. Because these muscles are always “on”, the muscles in the front which are required to bring the head backward shut “off” and become progressively weaker over time.  Don’t get me wrong…our bodies are beautiful adapters and even if we have this posture, our bodies will try to accommodate for it. But over time, the body will eventually start to fail and the real issues will start. Weeks and months of overstrain will cause things like headaches, tension over the neck and shoulder, ARTHRITIS, carpal tunnel like symptoms and so much more.

 

Soreness at the bottom of your neck and headaches that feel like they are coming from the base of your skull and wrapping around to your forehead or behind your eyes are the most common complaint we see from this posture. If chronic in nature, it does take several treatments to work out the tightness in the joints. Take home stretches and self-mobilizations are almost always given to start. Once flexibility and shared joint motion are improved, strengthening exercises are given to better stabilize the entire neck, making it easier to maintain good neck position.

 

Bruggar’s exercise is one of the most common exercises given. It starts with a chin retraction; focusing on bringing the entire head backward and upward, as if to give yourself a double chin. This brings the head over the shoulders. Once here, slightly pull the shoulder blades down and together; feeling a squeeze in the middle of the back. Hold here for 30-60 seconds and perform 5-10 times per day.

 

This exercise is not a simple one as you first introduce it. Many people feel as though they are hitting a brick wall as they retract the chin backward. The thing to realize though is each time you perform the exercise; you are stretching the muscles and mobilizing the joints. This will lead to loosening the area over time, making it much easier to do.

 

None of this will help, however, if your computer screen is not at an optimum height or if you’re always looking down at your phone. When patients come in with a question about their workstation, the first thing we do is have them ask a co-worker to take real photos of what their posture is during the day. This is without you knowing they are taken! I can notice very quickly if your screen is too low and causing strain on your neck.

 

The next big topic of discussion is the lower back. Although it is said that sitting is the new smoking, standing all day is not great for the back either! Most people will jump right to switching over to a standing desk, but the problem isn’t sitting. It is staying in one spot for too long.

 

Your joints were built to move and move often. This is especially true of the joints of the lower back, pelvis, and legs. If we had it our way and could go into every single office space, we would give every desk jockey a vari-desk; something they can both sit and stand at. They would change from sitting to standing each hour when a buzzer went off and would be required to walk the length of the office at least once an hour. For their chair, they would have both a regular chair with some sort of low back support for good spine position and a stability ball to sit on. Each varied posture will work different muscles and the joints would not stay in one place for too long.

 

That’s right! You can still sit at your desk, but not for 8 hours straight.

 

A lumbar support is a very inexpensive device which allows the lumbar spine or the low back to have a proper curve while in a seated position. Most of the time, we see a very flat almost rounded back with a tucked under rear end in an office setting photos. Don’t get us wrong, people will also overly arch the back when trying to sit in a good posture which is just as bad for the joints of the lower back. Neutral is what you are looking for to decrease stress.

 

Along with the lower back are the feet. If your feet are not touching the ground in your chair, you have zero points of stability for the rest of the body. There are cases where vertically inclined patients have to bring a box to rest the feet on, which works just as well. You really want the thigh to be flat with the ground and the knees to be bent to 90 degrees. Also, no crossing of the legs ladies. One point of support is just as bad as no support at all.

 

Common exercises for the lower back are Cobra pose and standing lumbar extensions. Both create motion in the lower back and get those big joints moving. Once better-shared motion is created and we see the relaxation of the muscles, core strengthening exercises are given for optimal stability.

 

The last point we will touch on today is arm position. If you are working on a laptop, this is especially important. With the hands on the keyboard, you want your elbows relaxed close to your sides and forearms to be flat with the ground or just below 90 degrees. In order to make this happen with a laptop, a wireless keyboard is a must. With both neck and shoulder positioning in mind, this puts the least amount of stress on the muscles and allows for all of the joints to be in a neutral position.

 

Would you like your workstation evaluated? Call (704) 940-4000 to set up a FREE CONSULTATION with our doctors and get the process started! We can also write a professional letter to your company requesting a better workstation if necessary or even give a presentation to your entire company about the importance of ergonomics. Become more efficient and decrease pain with simple exercises and movement of equipment!

 

Stay Healthy!

Dr. Casey Schneible

 

Combat the Cold Weather Blues with Chiropractic!

With the cold temperatures, rain, snow, and wind comes colds, accidents, and stiff/achy muscles and joints. Whether young or old, everyone can suffer from discomfort that is caused by cold temperature and atmospheric pressures. These natural elements can cause flare-ups or problems in people who have various types of arthritis, post-surgical areas, skin condition, etc. Cold weather can cause even the healthiest person to move slower, feel stiff or tense, and cause an increased chance of injury. 
  
In addition to bodily discomfort, cold weather can wear and tear on the immune system and your mental health. To reduce your chances of being severely affected by the cold weather this season, regular chiropractic treatment is highly recommended. Getting back to doing the activities that you love to do is important and so is your health. Frequent chiropractic care is a safe and holistic method of treatment that can assist in reducing the stiffness, soreness, pain that is associated with joint and muscle pain!  
  
Above and beyond chiropractic treatment, there are other actions that you can take to take care of your body this winter: 
  
– Warm-up and stretch before and after outdoor activities 
– Dress warmly when going outdoors 
– Limit cold-weather exposure time 
– Maintain an active lifestyle 
– Eating healthy foods 
  
The teeth-jittering cold weather should not stop you from living your life to the fullest and doing what you love. Be educated and productive this winter, by taking special care your body and get chiropractic treatment. Do not wait until it is too late to start taking better care of your health. Your body will benefit from year-round chiropractic treatment. Come into one of our three locations to speak with a doctor about the perfect treatment plan for you! 
  
Sources 
https://www.chiropractic.ca
https://www.acatoday.org 
http://www.middletownchiropractors.com
https://www.thejoint.com 
 

Females and Mothers with Children – Pelvic Floor Retraining

Trampolines, funny jokes, and roller coasters are all things that mothers tend to avoid. But why? Leakage. Or fear thereof. We are so thankful to be able to tell these women- YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PEE YOUR PANTS FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE! (If you don’t want to) Yes, it will take some effort up front and yes, it is not going to be an overnight fix. But hey, you can’t grow a baby overnight either!

 

Girl Looking at Computer with PartentsBeing a mother can be one of the most wonderfully frustrating joys of the world. There are many ups and downs, highs and lows to parenthood; particularly for mothers. Going to your pediatrician for weekly then monthly visits for the newfound light of our lives creates added stress. And of course we are always being asked how we are doing after giving birth, an incredibly difficult athletic event, and if anything in our lives is concerning us.  Most of the time the doctors are really just checking for any major signs of depression or potential infection, putting our health and overall well-being on the back-burner because that’s what moms do and that is how it is supposed to be.

 

Well, we are here to call out bologna.

 

Yes, your child/infant/toddler/newborn is a top priority in your life. But if you are not taking care of yourself as well, how are you ever going to be able to maintain a healthy lifestyle for your child? From a mental standpoint, postpartum depression is much more common than most women think, so do not feel that you are alone. Affecting more than 1 in 5 women, these feelings can also last anywhere from a few weeks to a year following delivery. Although appointments to a typical office setting usually revolve around baby, be sure to ask your GP of these concerns.

 

As far as the dirty “L” word, leakage; this is something that most medical doctors do not have a good answer for. They may send you to someone who specializes in Kegels, which was the only answer for the longest time; but ask any mom anywhere and they will tell you the truth about the clenching. It doesn’t often work.

 

Many times after giving birth, the muscles of the undercarriage, or pelvic floor are actually in spasm! That’s right, a Charley Horse right where the sun don’t shine. If you think about the incredible act your body just performed and the stress put on these muscles while bringing a new life into the world, it makes perfect sense. And this is in a normal, easy delivery with no complications! Why am I telling you all of this? Is it to make you feel like there is not any hope?

 

Of course not!

 

With specific adjustments to the lower back, pelvis, and hips, chemicals are released from the body that helps relax these muscles. From a biomechanical standpoint, if you have an area of your pelvis that is not moving or is fixed, it will cause extra tension to be held in the muscles of the pelvic floor and these muscles will naturally have no choice but to go into spasm to facilitate the extra load. Further muscle work can be performed (with the clothes still on) to also help in assisting the release of these muscles of the pelvic floor. Once these muscles are no longer in spasm, that is when the real fun happens.

 

Our doctors at Keith clinic actually have education in rehabilitative care, especially for postpartum mothers. This includes low-level exercise to help turn back on your core as well as simple take-home activities to help strengthen your pelvic floor! Many of the exercises are very relaxing in nature and also help new moms take a minute to focus on themselves, which is sometimes so difficult. The most basic activity can even be done in your car on the way to work! These exercises can be used both for mothers who just recently gave birth as well as older women whose children are now grown. We see a lot of moms who love to work out who used these exercises and are no longer scared of squats or box jumps or any active mom for the fact of the matter. Long-distance runners also see major improvements in their ability to hold it all in through the duration of their runs.

 

But don’t take our word for it. Many of the concepts we utilize actually come from some of the greatest and most researched-based minds at the Prague Institute of Rehabilitation. This is where Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization, or DNS, was founded. Everything within the protocol is actually based on the developing child, from infancy all the way through to when the baby begins to walk.

 

Consider this, who taught you how to roll over? Or sit up? Or even stand up?

 

NO ONE!

 

That is because the brain is wired to create the best and most efficient over-all stability; concepts a newborn baby can tap into immediately. Muscle development is required for a baby to hit all of the landmarks in the first few years. This efficiency is hard-wired into the brain and what we do is give you specific positions and exercises to go through to help re-facilitate and re-strengthen this stability.

 

Sound interesting? Give us a call at (704) 940-4000 and request your FREE CONSULTATION today!

 

“Our approach is simple; perform a complete physical examination with neurologic and functional tests to get to the root of a patient’s complaint. Through adjustments to the spine, extremities, muscle release, and take-home exercises, our goal as a health care provider are to help our patients meet and exceed their health goals. Optimal function equals optimal health. We look forward to meeting you and your family!”

 

Thank you and stay blessed,

Dr. Casey Schneible

 

NFL Players Advocate for Regular Chiropractic Care

The football season is finally upon us! Did you know that chiropractic plays a vital role in keeping players healthy? In the NFL, chiropractors are seen as vital support to their overall health and wellness. Certified NFL trainers agree that chiropractic care is very important when it comes to “treating low back and other musculoskeletal injuries.” According to a recent study done by the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians, a “substantial portion of NFL trainers have developed cooperative relationships with chiropractors, with 77% having referred a player to a chiropractor. 100% percent of NFL teams have a chiropractor officially on staff.” 

Professional NFL players who receive chiropractic treatment highly recommend it to others and typically continue preventative care after their career has concluded. During the active season, an NFL chiropractor performs “30 to 50 treatments per week during the season.” Excluding the quarterback camp, mini-camp, and pre/post-season the in-game season (16 weeks) about “34 chiropractors conservatively give 16,320 to 27,200 adjustments to America’s superstars in just 120 days.” 

Chiropractic can treat many injuries that are caused by football. In the conducted study, the following injuries were most commonly treated: “low back pain (61%), “stingers” and “burners” usually associated with a neck injury (31%), headaches (8%). Whether you are a fan of the hometown Panthers, Eagles, or Steelers, we all can agree that the health and wellness of our players is key to the future of the game. With regular chiropractic care, you and your favorite NFL players can maintain a healthy body and win every day.

Citations: www.profootballchiros.com; www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov 

Can You Adjust Children?

A very common question we get here at Keith Clinic is can my kids get adjusted? And the answer is YES! The misconception is that they will be adjusted just like an adult. Because they are much smaller and muscles haven’t developed like adults, adjustments to children require much less force.

The next question we get is when do you know a child needs to be adjusted? Just like an adult, the joints of the spine are palpated looking for areas where motion is lacking. You as a parent may notice your child getting sick or being overly fussy. This is a good indication that they need to get in to be seen. When the spine is sharing movement properly, the nerve signals can move at optimum speeds and the immune response is much quicker. This is important to not only prevent sickness but also prevent injury. Just like in an adult, when the spine isn’t moving properly areas will begin to move more, putting that area at risk for injury which is especially important in the developing child or even athlete for preventing repetitive motion injuries like throwing or kicking a ball.

When should I first get my child checked? As chiropractors, we believe it is important to have your newborn checked as soon as you can. The birthing process is the first large stress put on the body, and that is in a non-complicated vaginal birth. If you have ever seen a C-section birth, you will see that once the mom is opened up, the baby is then pulled from mom using large clamps on either side of the head. This pull places a lot of stress on the neck and can cause the first misalignment. The same is true for a vacuum excursion and especially a regular birth when the doctor has to give an extra pull on babies head during delivery. Natural births can be very aggressive and this can cause many issues within your child’s spine and even nervous system. A common condition called Erb’s Palsy is very prevalent which is a condition where their nerves are damaged in vaginal birth due to pulling the baby out and it usually causes mild to severe paralysis to your baby’s upper extremities. The point of this is to explain that birth is not easy on your child. 

There are a few other indications that your newborn may need to be checked. Improper latching during breastfeeding, overly fussy, troubles sleeping, difficulty passing stools, increased spit up and even if you notice your baby does not like to turn to one side or the other. Although there may be other factors involved with each of these cases, a chiropractor can get some of your questions answered and get you to the right place. Here at Keith Clinic, we see a lot of newborns with these issues and they usually resolve only after a few treatments but sometimes only one!

An adjustment to a newborn also looks much different from an adjustment to a child and especially an adult. Because they are so delicate, the amount of pressure needed to correct an alignment is as much pressure as you can handle when pressing on your eyelid. In the neck, there is almost always no thrust and although the baby may be fussy with their head is being held, once the adjustment is performed you can actually see their breathing and temperament change. During adjustments to the pelvis, pumping mechanisms are used to decrease the amount of force needed. In the cases of difficulty passing stools, some moms report the “blow out” as early as on the drive home.  Newborns who don’t like to turn their head to one side, which can include even nursing on one side, have a better range of motion once the upper neck is free from fixation.

Newborns and kids are some of our favorite patients to work with. Kids will be very blunt most of the time and tell you how they feel after getting adjusted. It is also extremely rewarding to hear back from parents who report an improvement in behavior at school or improvements in breastfeeding once treatment has started.

Because the nervous systems of little ones are so delicate and areas of decreased motion are much less fixed than in adults with more chronic conditions, results are usually seen much quicker. By getting your newborns and kids adjusted, you are helping them improve their biomechanics all the way through development. From lifting the head for tummy time all the way through riding a bike or mastering throwing a football, shared motion in the spine will help develop the proper muscles to keep your kids performing at their highest potential.

Interested in getting your children checked? Call and request an appointment with one of our wonderful doctors at 704-940-4000. We would love to answer any questions you have and help decrease your concerns about getting your little ones adjusted. Have an athlete in the family? We also teach preventative exercises, which are best implemented from a young age to help decrease season and career-ending injuries!

Have a blessed day,

Dr. Casey Schneible

 

The Truth About Gluten

Problems with gluten are becoming an epidemic. With the most recent research showing that consumption of gluten and its closely related compounds can cause innumerable disease processes, there is a lot that is still not understood by both the general public and those in the medical field. Many people have heard of a gluten sensitivity or know someone who suffers from Celiac disease, but this issue reaches much further.

Gluten gets its origin from the Latin word for “glue.” Made up of 2 proteins, gluten makes up at least 80% of the protein found in grains. Giving bread dough its elasticity and baked goods a chewiness, the Latin-based term gives a good definition. It is found in numerous grains which include wheat, rye and barley as well as oats due to the modern processing methods. Small amounts of a similar structure, gliadin, are found in corn products and cornstarch. Many processed foods use gluten as an additive and is becoming a more popular stabilizing agent in numerous personal-care products. Yes- even your shampoo isn’t safe.

We, as humans, have spent the last 2.6 million years eating a specific way and the inclusion of gluten is a very new practice. This protein is very difficult to digest, even when prepared properly, and can complicate your health in a wide spectrum.

Let’s start with fully diagnosed Celiac Disease, which has been shown at a 400% increase in the last 50 years. Your small intestine is a tube that is lined with villi, which resemble a shag carpet. These finger-like projections increase the total surface area of your small intestine and aid in the proper absorption of nutrients. The diagnosis of Celiac disease is awarded when all of these villi have been completely destroyed. The interesting thing here is that if the villi are only partially warn down, the full diagnosis is not given. So you can see there is a massive gray area! Unless you swap your carpet for hardwood floors, you are blind to what is happening in your tummy. Un-diagnosed Celiac is just as potent as the complete atrophy itself. Celiac disease is simply a form of gluten sensitivity, both of which result in chronic malabsorption of nutrients which leads to other disease states and increases the degenerative process.

So what destroys the villi? If you are genetically predisposed to a gluten sensitivity, when you consume the compound, your body crosses over into a heightened state of an immunologic response due to the ingested protein. Similar to what occurs when you get a virus, your body is fighting off the foreign body that it does not know how to break down. Both Celiac disease and the much more common gluten sensitivity are autoimmune conditions which lead to wide-spread inflammation. This affects your entire body and not just the gut.

Gluten sensitive individuals are at a greater risk for heart conditions as well as several cancers. Their bodies essentially cease blood flow to the brains frontal cortex which is used for focus, planning, organization, manage emotions and short-term memories – basically everything that makes you human. Do you have a child that struggles with focusing in school? Due to our changing GI tracts, children are at a much greater risk for developing this sensitivity. There are numerous markers on routine blood tests that might point you to this diagnosis. Sub-clinical anemia, elevated or raised protein levels, raised or elevated levels of HDL, low BUN levels and even chronically elevated liver enzyme levels may point to chronic, full-body inflammation.

Another very important factor in all of this is the presence of morphine-like compounds found in grains called exorphins. These compounds are EXTREMELY addictive in nature leaving you craving more of some of the worst foods out there. This can be one sign there is a potential gluten sensitivity present. Do you crave pizza in large amounts and want nothing but pastas or breads? You may want to read this twice.

What about my dairy sensitivity?

Funny you should ask! Gluten sensitive individuals are at an increased risk for developing a cross-reaction with several other compounds. This includes casein (milk protein), oats, rye, barley, spelt, kamut, yeast, coffee and milk chocolate. In some cases, once gluten is removed from the diet, a dairy sensitivity is decreased.

I also get a lot of questions about my Italian roots. People will say “My ancestors grew up on breads and pastas. How am I supposed to stop eating my cultures foods!?” In this case, you have to look at the difference in the quality of what people were consuming in the past. Many times, these grains were fermented in house and with modern processing methods, gluten is so modified that we are literally not able to recognize the compounds. So if you want to germinate and ferment your own grains and press your pasta yourself, go ahead!

Some underlying symptoms of a possible gluten sensitivity are: headaches, general fatigue, indigestion, feeling overly full after a meal, bloating, pain or symptoms in several parts of the body, mood swings, crankiness or a skin rash/bumps on the arms (very common symptom of an underlying issue in children!).

There are a few things to try if you feel you have a sensitivity. The easiest is to use an elimination diet. Consume no gluten for 2 weeks then reintroduce it. If symptoms get better at the end of the two weeks then return as gluten is re-added, it is most likely you have a sensitivity. One of our favorite ways to test for this using your blood. Sending this out to a lab where we can have several tests for both gluten and its many cross-reactive compounds tested is easy. All that is needed is a 5 mL blood sample which is sent to a lab. Results are then given within 7-10 days and we are able to sit down to discuss what was found.

If you are questioning if you have a sensitivity to gluten or one of its many cross reactors, feel free to schedule a FREE CONSULTATION with Dr. Casey. We can discuss your symptoms and look into getting a test done if we feel necessary.

If you want to live the healthiest life possible for as long as possible, please consider this article. Much of the information shared has been studied and cited in several articles. Our sources for this are The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine and Primal Body, Primal Mind. Both are very well researched and have a large index for all the research cited throughout the books. Again, any questions, please call and request a consultation.

Stay healthy, stay happy,

Dr. Casey Schneible