Headaches: The Spinal Connection

The root of many headaches sufferers’ pain lies not in their head but in the spine of their neck. Specifically, scientific studies indicate that a common spinal condition, called vertebral subluxation, is the hidden cause of many patients’ pain.  The good news is that chiropractic care safely and effectively corrects this disorder - and the pain associated with it!

You may ask what vertebral subluxation is…

A vertebral subluxation is an area in the spine where movement is restricted or bones are out of alignment.  In patients with headaches, vertebral subluxations are often identified in the spine of the neck, also called cervical spine.  These are frequently associated with a straightening or reversal of the neck natural curve ( “ texting neck”).

Vertebral subluxation are triggered by a myriad of elements such as poor posture, inadequate exercise and emotional stress.

Why does vertebral subluxation cause headaches?

The spinal column consists of a series of vertebrae stacked one on top of the other.  The vertebrae are separated by gel- like intervertebral discs, which absorb shock and provide cushioning.  Tendons and muscles connect the vertebrae of the spine with the muscles of the back, neck and head. Through the center of the spinal column runs the spinal cord, a primary component of the central nervous system that joins the brain at the brain stem (around nose-level).  Nerves extend out from the spinal cord between vertebrae - transmitting information to and from structures throughout the body and the brain. Imbalance of the upper back and neck leads to a common type of cervicogenic headache, which means coming from the neck. This may also be the origin of a migraine headache.

Research:

Chiropractic is an effective therapy for migraine headache, according to a paper presented at the World Federation of Chiropractic’s Fifth Biennial Congress in Auckland, New Zealand.  Investigators evaluated 122 patients with migraine headache; 81 participants completed two months of chiropractic care, and the remaining subjects served as controls. According to the report, 22 percent of chiropractic patients enjoyed remission of their migraines. Nearly 50 percent experienced significant reductions in the intensity of each episode.

According to Chiropractic Biophysics, “The late Alf Breig MD, PhD, ( a leading neurosurgeon in his time) demonstrated that reductions in the neck curve can stretch the cervical spinal cord and brainstem by as much as 4.2 cm (1.68 in) and that this stretch is transmitted all the way down to the nerves in the lower back region. Obviously over time, this stretch on the nerve tissue can put the body in a state of dis-ease and lead to a number of altered health consequences.”  One of the the health consequences being headaches.

How Chiropractic care eliminates triggers of headaches…

Chiropractic care eliminates the source of head pain by correcting vertebral subluxations by gentle force to the spine. I would suggest frequent checkups depending on lifestyle, stress level, exercise regime and work environment.

So, ask your doctor of chiropractic what checkup schedule is right for you. If you haven’t had a checkup in a while, don’t delay - schedule an appointment before the onset of pain. Contact us at 479-636-5322 and website https://www.abundantperformance.com/.

Resource:

https://idealspine.com/corrective-chiropractic-why-is-a-proper-neck-curve-important-to-your-health/

The Chiropractic Solution to Neck Pain

Neck pain is among the most common complaints that incite patients to seek chiropractic care. For good reason, doctors of chiropractic, like Dr. Van Wilpe, are experts at eliminating the spinal problems associated with neck ache.

You don’t have to rely on painkillers with potentially hazardous side effects to quell neck ache.

Curvaceous Concerns

Patients with neck (cervical) pain often suffer from a straightening or reversal of the neck natural curve. The side view should form an arch that’s most convex at mid-neck. However, many people - especially those who work at desks, computers or look at their phones - have cervical spines that jet forward, flattening their curve or even form reverse curves.  

The new term is coined “texting neck."

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Studies show that a straightened or reversed curve weakens the deep muscles of the neck, these muscles are forced to hold the spine in an anatomically ill-suited posture. This could heighten risk of injury, as well as the likelihood of obtaining osteoarthritis and organ system dysfunction.

Are Adjustments the Answer to Neck Pain?

Dr. Van Wilpe will make corrections to the area in the spine where movement is restricted or bones are misaligned, called vertebral subluxations. Research shows that these specialized maneuvers restore motion and alignment to the spine, in turn warding off the disorders associated with vertebral subluxations, including neck pain. Adjustments to the spine also quell another neck ache instigator: muscle tension.

According to Chiropractic Biophysics, “ Corrective methods using Chiropractic BioPhysics® or CBP® Technique extension traction procedures and devices are the only true evidence based methods that have been shown to statistically and clinically improve the amount of cervical lordosis without the use of surgery. This has been documented in several clinical trials and case reports” ( Your Neck Curvature Will Help You Or HURT YOU If You’re Involved In A Car Crash, 1 July 2014).

Beyond Pain Killers

One scientific study compared chiropractic adjustments to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Examples:

  1. Advil

  2. Motrin

  3. Orudis.

The report concluded that, “ The best evidence indicated that cervical manipulation [chiropractic adjustment] for neck pain is much safer than the use of NSAIDs, by as much as a factor of several hundred times. There is no evidence that indicates NSAID use is any more effective than cervical manipulation for neck pain” (Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics 1996;18:530-6).

Make the Connection

Why is it essential to seek chiropractic care at the first sign of pain or stiffness? Because neck problems are often initial manifestation of a chronic spinal disorder.

Be proactive - get to the root of your spinal problem before it has a chance to spread! Schedule an appointment for a FREE chiropractic evaluation today! We serve patients all over northwest Arkansas including Rogers, Bentonville, Fayetteville, Springdale, Lowell, and Bella Vista. 

Resource

https://idealspine.com/your-neck-curvature-will-help-you-or-hurt-you-if-youre-involved-in-a-car-crash/

A First Time Visit at Abundant Performance Chiropractic

Hello!

My name is Aryn and I’m an intern with Abundant Performance here in Northwest Arkansas. Today I want to talk to someone who has never been to our office!

Many people have never stepped foot in a chiropractic office because of one reason: Fear.

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Perhaps they heard about someone else’s bad experience with an NWA chiropractor. Or maybe they are afraid to try something they’ve never done before.

Some are probably afraid they will get trapped into paying crazy amounts of money for treatment. Or worse, maybe they did try, but they didn’t like it or they didn’t get the help they needed or they overpaid!

No matter your story, we want to help you discover that a good chiropractor will make you feel safe, give you the help you need, and do it at an affordable rate.

If you're not sure how to evaluate whether a chiropractor is safe, see a recent blog by Dr. Scott HERE. 

If you’ve never been to a Chiropractor before, I want to paint a realistic picture of what you can expect and reassure you that not all doctors are expensive or bad. Just because someone else had a bad experience, doesn’t mean that you will!

Dr. Scott is unlike most chiropractors and his clinic taught me a lot!  Come with me on my journey as a first time patient with Dr. Scott Van Wilpe at Abundant Performance!

What is Abundant Performance like?

When you first walk into Abundant Performance, the words that come to my mind are: Homey. Welcoming. Openness. And privacy if needed.

As soon as you walk into the building, you will have a sweet welcome from the front desk and meet the receptionist Cherene. She will give you an overview on how things are conducted and help you feel at home.

Based on my first impression when walking in, the staff and the office come across as a very well put together Chiropractic practice. The only negative is that their office is slightly tucked away from sight from the street, but it’s not difficult to find!

What are the steps to becoming a patient?

Becoming a patient requires a few easy steps:

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1. You are given the option to fill out a portion of the paperwork before coming.

  • This paperwork is located on the website HERE. 

2. You will get a short tour of their office.

3. You will meet Dr. Scott for your first evaluation.

  • Dr. Scott gave me a brief spine and posture evaluation. This was absolutely FREE on my first visit! He also went over my personal pains and concerns.

  • Dr. Scott took the time to explain how the body and spine work together and how important it is to have balance in the spine because of how much it impacts your entire body.

4. There is a second evaluation where you are tested in your reflexes and x-rays are taken.

  • Not every chiropractor takes x-rays so that was interesting to see.

5. After the first day you have to set up an appointment to go over your x-ray results.

6. When you come for your follow up appointment, Dr. Scott will go over your x-ray results in detail.

  • He explains to you the x-rays and what is shown.
  • This was interesting to me because I learned many things about myself that I didn't even know was a problem!
  • It also made some things clear on why my body performs the way it does.

The Bigger Picture

There is an ABUNDANT amount of great information given to you as a first time patient and it is extremely satisfying to learn.

My first impression of Abundant Performance was very amazing. Dr. Van Wilpe explained everything in detail and in a way I could easily understand. I also liked how he shared from a holistic approach that also included a spiritual background. This was satisfying to me because of my spiritual beliefs.

Dr. Van Wilpe explained that there is a bigger picture than going to the chiropractor. You come to a chiropractor to receive treatment for your physical needs, but in receiving treatment there will also be guidance for emotional, chemical, and spiritual needs. This makes me think of Dr. Scott as more than just a chiropractor, but also as a health coach.

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Evaluating on every level of Chiropractic treatment

EMOTIONAL: you will feel like a different person with everything working correctly and just having a relationship with the staff.

CHEMICAL and PHYSICAL: through chiropractic adjustments, your brain energy will communicate better with your organs, your cells and organs will work in balance together, and this will balance your body’s energy and chemistry. Optimal spine = Optimal Health  

SPIRITUAL: you will know that God is here to help you in life and your body will perform like he made it.

Following Up

The next day for my follow up, I received my results from my x-rays. Dr. Scott then presented me with a practical plan on how I could live a better life. He gave me an option to peruse the treatment here or not. That was pleasing to hear because I did not feel pressured or forced pursue treatments with him.

I decided to receive treatment, which lead to my first adjustment that day. Many people might be afraid to receive an adjustment, but Dr. Van Wilpe made me feel very comfortable and did not do anything that was uncomfortable for me. While giving an adjustment, he gives you an explanation on what he is adjusting and the reasons why it is important.

I learned so much from Dr. Van Wilpe. He taught me about how the body works and how you could be having problems with your body system because your musculoskeletal system even if you do not have symptoms. He also explained how everyone is different and everyone will not obtain the same results or problems as each other.

Get back pain relief and healing in Rogers

If you are having pain in your back, neck, shoulders or body, I encourage you to receive treatment from Dr. Van Wilpe.

Unlike some chiropractors Dr. Van Wilpe develops a relationship with you, communicates with you, and helps you receive the proper back treatment customized for you. I would definitely recommend receiving treatment at Abundant Performance with Cherene and Dr. Van Wilpe.

To schedule an appointment at their Rogers Chiropractic office, you can call 479-636-5393 or fill out the form by clicking HERE.  

 

How to Tell a Good Chiropractor From a Bad Chiropractor

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If you've been to a great doctor, then you can appreciate when you've received amazing bedside manner, excellent treatment, care and compassion, good communication and their ability to help you heal. 

A great doctor or chiropractor, will make you feel valued and give you the attention that you need while you're in their office. 

Not everyone has experienced this kind of positive treatment, however. 

Sadly, many people may go to the same doctor for many years without really evaluating their level of service or care. Some people may also never try another doctor again after having a bad experience. Some may never try a doctor or chiropractor at all because of fear from getting hurt! 

If you've been hurt or maybe you have apprehension, read below for some easy tips on how you can tell the difference between a good chiropractor and a bad one! 

1. A good chiropractor will always do a thorough assessment of your health and body. 

A chiropractor, or any doctor for that matter, should never proceed to give you treatment until they have given you a health assessment.

A good chiropractor take the time to ask about your health history, take x-rays, perform light testing, and observe your body for signs of injury or pain. A BAD chiropractor will rush through or even skip the examination process just to get you adjusted and then scheduled for your next appointment.  

2. A good chiropractor will give you a clear strategy on how they can help you

After you've received your initial health assessment, it is important that you are given a plan of action on what treatments you may need to get healthy.

A good chiropractor will explain reasons why they suggest certain therapies or treatments and give you a timetable on your treatments. A good chiropractor may also teach you basic theory on how their treatments can benefit you. A bad chiropractor will just tell you to trust them and will not give you a clear understanding of why they are suggesting certain treatments. NEVER TRUST A CHIROPRACTOR THAT DOESN'T EXPLAIN THEMSELVES! 

3. A good chiropractor will be sensitive to your pain and needs

After you've received a treatment plan, the next step is to receive treatments, therapies and adjustments. 

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A good chiropractor will be slow to work their way into treatments and will ask you consistently about your feelings and pain levels throughout the treatment process. A good chiropractor will understand that PAIN is the body's sign of injury and that something is wrong. A bad chiropractor will jump into treatment and will not take the time to ask or listen to your pain levels. 

4. A good chiropractor will not settle for "pain-free" 

A realistic expectation for chiropractic treatment is to receive adjustments over a period of a few weeks or even a few months. 

A good chiropractor will not stop treatment just because you're without pain, but will work to further your health past the point of when you came in to get treatments. A good chiropractor will work to restore your body to the healthiest position possible and will work to improve your body's strength for further injury prevention without rushing the process. A bad chiropractor will only treat you for a limited time and will only be interested in getting you back to where you were before and in and out of their office as quickly as possible. 

5. A good chiropractor will use multiple treatments to empower you

A combination of different treatments can help your body heal more efficiently.

A good chiropractor will encourage you to take a holistic approach through diet, exercise, posture, and stretching. A good chiropractor may suggest acupuncture, laser therapy, ice and heat therapy, or other methods. A good chiropractor will also teach and give you exercises for your own self-care and to a place of health where you are not dependent on their services constantly. A bad chiropractor will use the same treatments over and over again and will require you to see them for their services multiple times a week for more than just a few months. 

6. A good chiropractor will get to know you personally and make you comfortable

Seeing any doctor can be a vulnerable process of letting someone else in to your life. 

A good chiropractor will take the time to get to know you and make you feel comfortable throughout the process. Because the body is so attached to the mind and soul, a good chiropractor may also ask you questions about your emotions and help you reset your thoughts and attitude. A bad chiropractor will not show empathy and will not make a personal connection with you. 

Schedule treatment with a Great Chiropractor!

Dr. Scott Van Wilpe is the chiropractor that many people trust.

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Why?

Because he exhibits everything listed above as a GOOD chiropractor! He has treated athletes, runners, children, the elderly and more. He is trustworthy, he will be sensitive to your needs, he communicate openly with you, and he will take the time to get to know you. 

If you don't have an NWA Chiropractor that you can trust, give us a call at 479-636-5322 or click here to schedule a free initial appointment.

The Importance of TrueCellularDetox ™

Toxins are everywhere.

Many people do not realize that their body is exposed to many toxins every single day. Toxins are in the air, in our water, in the foods we eat, and even in things we use such as body care products or clothes. Our bodies soak it all up and eventually, it takes a toll on us. These toxins, virtually invisible, are evidenced in the physical over time.

How toxins affect our bodies.

So how do these toxins affect us?

Think of your body as a bucket or a small container. Then think of the toxins in our daily life as small rocks that begin to fill up our container. With each toxic exposure, the more our container fills up and the more our body will feel the weight. As our container fills with toxins, it will eventually trigger cellular inflammation where severe symptoms arise and disease manifests.

As these toxins are built up over time, it begins to limit the body’s ability to heal itself and fight off illness or injury. The toxins can weaken our immune system and leave our bodies more susceptible to health problems. Our body’s ability to heal itself is slowed because the cells are held down by the toxins. Over time this build-up of toxins can prove to be extremely dangerous to the body.

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What are these toxins?

There are several kinds of toxins that can be harmful to the human body. The most common are:

  1. Metals. Whether it is paint, lipstick, antiperspirant, gasoline, lead, mercury or some other kind of metal, these substances can be picked up by our body slowly over years of exposure. Most medical practitioners agree that these heavy metals are at the root of many illnesses.   

  2. Mold. Biotoxins from toxic mold are dangerous and can ruin lives through affecting the respiratory system and other key organs in the body.

  3. Hidden Infections. Lyme disease, anaerobic bacteria, and other infections are difficult to detect and difficult to get rid of. These infections can often slowly work their way into your bloodstream and cause immune issues.

Symptoms of these toxins.

As cellular inflammation is triggered, symptoms may arise and disease can occur. We can feel the influence of these toxins and cellular inflammation in multiple ways:

  • Digestive problems

  • Weight loss resistance

  • High or low blood pressure

  • Dizziness

  • Low stress tolerance

  • Muscle or joint pain

  • Temperature dysregulation

  • Depression or emotional mood swings

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Fatigue

  • Hormone Dysregulation

  • Headaches

  • Brain fog

  • Slow recovery from sickness

 

What is True Cellular Detox ™ and why is it important?

TrueCellularDetox™ (TCD) is a process of improving cellular function and restoring the human body so that it can properly heal itself when it faces toxins such as metals, mold, other biotoxins and infections. TCD ™ also helps to remove the toxins at the source and repair the cellular pathways for cellular reproduction. TCD ™ is also designed to repair the natural detox pathways of the cell upstream while protecting the downstream detox pathways such as the lymph, liver, kidneys, and gut. By repairing the cells, the body is much quicker to heal, maintain energy, and allow for full performance.

TrueCellularDetox ™ is not just a...

TCD ™ is more than just a simple colon cleanse, foot bath, juice fast, coffee enema, or a herbal cleanse. Although these strategies can help and do work, they typically can stir up the toxins as they attempt to remove them and thereby allow them to cross back into the body.

How does TrueCellularDetox ™ work?

TCD ™ has a 5 step process. This process is often referred to as the 5 R’s.

  1. Remove the source of toxicity. By removing toxins, the body will heal itself and support the regeneration of the cellular membrane by adding essential fats to the diet.

  2. Regenerate the cell membrane. Once the cell is detoxified, it can begin to be restored, hormones will rebalance and ATP will increase. ATP, is often referred to as the "molecular unit of currency" of intracellular energy transfer.

  3. Restore Cellular Energy. By increasing cellular energy, the body will heal faster. Cellular energy is the gasoline of the cell and without proper energy, the body will not function. By restoring energy back to the cell this will also improve cellular function with mitochondrial biogenesis and decrease chronic inflammation.

  4. Reduce cellular inflammation. By dropping sugars (including grains) and bad fats from your diet this can decreasing chronic inflammation that can lead to fatigue, brain fog, digestive problems, and hormone conditions.

  5. Re-establish Methylation. Removing emotional and environmental toxins and re-establishing methylation will support and control epigenetic gene regulation and disease prevention.

Typically, TCD ™ will take a few months to occur. There is a 1-2 month prep detox phase, followed by a body detox phase that typically lasts 1 month, and finally, a brain detox phase that lasts 1-3 months. In total, TCD ™ is a 3-6 month process that can repair many years worth of toxic damage on the body.

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How do I know that I might need TrueCellularDetox ™?

Are you putting on weight, even while changing your diet and your exercising?

Are you noticing that it takes you longer to overcome a simple cold or cough?

Do you notice your energy levels decreasing quickly throughout the day?

Do you have trouble sleeping throughout the night?

Do you have trouble focusing and maintaining your train of thought?

If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, you may need to talk to a medical professional and spend a period of time under the TrueCellularDetox ™ treatment. TCD ™ will help you get back to the path of health and can make a world of difference.

Get TrueCellularDetox ™ treatment.

To begin your process of detoxification, give the Abundant Performance clinic in Rogers a call at 479-636-5322. Dr. Van Wilpe and his staff have served Northwest Arkansas with chiropractic for almost 30 years and would be glad to assist you in your health journey.

To learn more on TrueCellularDetox ™

https://drpompa.com/additional-resources/180_solutions/true-cellular-detox-a-top-5-strategy-to-create-your-best-health-ever

https://truecellulardetox.com/

https://revelationhealth.com/products/true-cellular-detox-program

http://www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com/True-Cellular-Detox.pdf

https://pmai.us/true-cellular-detox-free-report/  

Yoda and Yoga

In the film classic "The Empire Strikes Back," the iconic Jedi master Yoda inscrutably refers to "the Force" during training sessions with his disciple, Luke Skywalker. Yoda informs Luke that he "must feel the Force around you." Yoda himself is frequently seen assuming what may only be described as intergalactic yoga poses. Elsewhere in the film, Luke offers this Jedi-type benediction to the departing Lando Calrissian and Chewbacca, the Wookiee: "May the Force be with you." The Force, whether we conceive of it as a benevolent intelligence or a life-sustaining and life-affirming energy field, is all pervasive and only to be ignored at our peril.

Even if we consider the Force merely metaphorical, we can still take action to enhance our connection to the life-sustaining forces in and around us. Taking care of our bodies is an important part of accomplishing this goal. We do this by engaging in healthy lifestyle behaviors and choices, of which eating a nutritious diet, performing 30 minutes of vigorous exercise five days a week, and getting sufficient restful sleep at night are the three primary endeavors.

In the realm of exercise, the key is not so much the specific type of physical activity, but the fact that you're doing exercise itself. The short- and long-term benefits derive from the consistency of your efforts, that is, your ongoing commitment to and accomplishment of the above mentioned 30 minutes of vigorous exercise five days a week. Naturally, we'd like to obtain the maximum advantage from the time we're spending exercising. Yoga is one exercise format that provides a substantial return in multiple areas, including cardiovascular, strength, and endurance benefits. For example, over time, practicing yoga can help lower your heart rate and blood pressure, lengthen and strengthen large muscle groups, and improve balance and concentration.

Regular chiropractic care helps us get the most out of our yoga practice as well as all other forms of exercise. Regular chiropractic care helps make sure our spine is aligned and that all the spinal vertebras, spinal joints, and spinal muscles and ligaments are working properly and effectively. By detecting and correcting sources of nerve interference that interfere with function and mobility, regular chiropractic care helps us stay well, perform at our physical optimum, and obtain the greatest benefit from our healthful lifestyle activities. In this way, regular chiropractic care helps improve our overall health and well-being and that of our families now and in the years to come.

 

  1. Wieland LS, et al: Yoga treatment for chronic non-specific low back pain. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 1:CD010671, January 12, 2017; doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD010671.pub2
  2. Jahdi F, et al: Yoga during pregnancy: The effects on labor pain and delivery outcomes (A randomized controlled trial). Complement Ther Clin Pract 27:1-4, 2017
  3. Bridges L, Sharma M: The Efficacy of Yoga as a Form of Treatment for Depression. J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med 1:2156587217715927, January 1, 2017; doi: 10.1177/2156587217715927. [Epub ahead of print]

Ice Capades

In the depths of winter, adults, as well as children, exert themselves to engage in enjoyable outdoor activities that will keep them warm and provide both excitement and entertainment. Cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, sledding, ice hockey, figure skating, and speed skating all have their enthusiasts.

Many people are proficient in multiple winter sports. Others have no discernible degree of skill, yet persist owing to the exhilaration and good feelings that are obtained by asserting oneself in the face of freezing temperatures. Even in Southern California, where the winter temperatures are laughably warm compared to those registered in places where it gets authentically cold, residents feel the bite of winter. Even in warmer areas, children and anyone young at heart can visit ice rinks in neighborhoods malls and get a sense of what it's like to skate on frozen water.

Importantly, participation in winter sports may often lead to injury, owing in large part to the physical momentum involved in skating, skiing, and sledding. Although injuries are often random and result from unfortunate circumstances, we can take many protective measures to help prevent an injury, despite having sustained a hard fall on the ice or a rough tumble downhill.

Proper preparation for any winter outdoor activity includes making sure that your body is up to the task. We get ourselves ready for sports-type engagement by participating in regular physical exercise. When we do aerobic exercises, we're training our heart, lungs, and circulatory system to increase their efficiency. Over time, we become better able to breathe more deeply, providing increased amounts of oxygen to power our muscles and other metabolic processes.

When we do strength-training exercises, we're developing the ability of our muscles and bones to support and maneuver with increased mechanical loads -- abilities needed for skiing and skating and other winter sports. Additionally, cardiovascular and strength-training exercises enhance the capabilities of our proprioceptive system, a network of nerve endings that help our bodies make instantaneous decisions regarding balance and position in three-dimensional space, subconscious skills that are critical to the successful enjoyment of winter activities.

Regular chiropractic care is a key component of our winter sports planning. Regular chiropractic care detects and corrects sources of nerve interference and restores and supports optimal mechanical function of the spinal column, our body's mechanical center. By making sure we are getting regular chiropractic care, we help ourselves get the most out of our exercise programs. In this way, regular chiropractic care helps us stay healthy, avoid injury, and have outdoor fun all winter long.

Sources:

  1. Raabe ME, Chaudhari AMW: Biomechanical consequences of running with deep core muscle weakness. J Biomech 2017 Dec 6. pii: S0021-9290(17)30692-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2017.11.037. [Epub ahead of print]
  2. Dreischart M, et al: Estimation of loads on human lumbar spine: A review of in vivo and computational model studies. J. Biomech 49(6):833-845, 2016
  3. Schuch FB, et al: Exercise as a treatment for depression: A meta-analysis adjusting for publication bias. J Psychiatr Res 77:42-51, 2016

A User's Guide to Healthy Knees

Motion is Important

Healthy knees require continuous motion. However, our generally sedentary lifestyles are at odds with the maintenance of robust knee joint architecture.

Left motionless throughout large portions of the day, over time knee cartilage will break down and knee ligaments will become lax. These chronic changes are frequently associated with other degenerative alterations in knee joint architecture often resulting in pain in one or both knees. Increasing discomfort may cause a person to become even more inactive, creating a feedback loop of lower levels of activity and higher levels of knee pain. Paradoxically, the solution to many of these knee problems is to begin a program of progressive and rehabilitative activity that incorporates repetitive knee motion.

Continuous Passive Motion

Continuous passive motion is a primary modality used in rehabilitation of knee mechanics following total joint replacement. Importantly, similar rehabilitative concepts may be applied in the management of many painful knees. The primary principle followed by such rehabilitation is "use it, or lose it." Healthy knees require a continuous flow of synovial fluid throughout the joint structure. This lubricating substance provides oxygen and nutrition to the knee joint, aids in shock absorption, and reduces joint friction. Inactive knees have diminished flow of synovial fluid throughout the joint structure, ultimately resulting in deterioration of joint surfaces and painful arthritis. Thus, surprisingly, chronic knee pain results from insufficient physical activity.

Activity and Additional Demands

As is the case with every physiological process, activity creates a demand for nutrients. Biomechanically, increased motion increases blood flow, which provides oxygen and nutritional building blocks that are required for bearing weight and movement. Increased circulation also facilitates removal of metabolic waste, the byproducts of physical work. The entire process increases the robustness of the local system. Specifically, in the case of knee joints, increased workloads improve the capacity of the knees to do work, creating a new, positive feedback loop. As your knee joints adapt to increased activity, the physiological momentum shifts, in a sense, from a trend toward painful arthritis to a trend toward improved function, greater tolerance for physical loads, and diminished pain.

Daily Routines

Beginning a daily walking routine will launch this entire process of knee rehabilitation. Start gradually, at a slow, comfortable pace, and walk for 10 minutes. After a few days, your body will begin to adapt and you will be able to gradually increase the duration of your walks. Add a minute or two every few days until you're walking a total of 30 minutes. Then gradually increase your pace, over a period of 3 or 4 weeks, until you're able to walk briskly for 30 minutes. Doing a brisk 30-minute walk 5 times per week will provide you with a substantial baseline from which to begin to pursue additional forms of exercise. Overall, for most of us physical activity is the best method for returning to good health.

Regular Chiropractic Care

Regular chiropractic care will provide significant assistance in your return to peak levels of health and physical performance. By detecting and correcting sources of nerve irritation and spinal joint dysfunction, regular chiropractic care helps ensure that your body is functioning at maximum capacity and protects your ability to get the most out of your exercise activities. In this way, regular chiropractic care helps you and all the members of your family obtain and enjoy ongoing health and well-being.

Sources:

Fransen M, et al: Exercise for osteoarthritis of the knee. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Jan 9;1:CD004376. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD004376.pub3

Ferber R, et al: Strengthening of the hip and core versus knee muscles for the treatment of patellofemoral pain: a multicenter randomized controlled trial. J Athl Train 50(4):366-377, 2015

Gilbert AL, et al: A randomized trial of a motivational interviewing intervention to increase lifestyle physical activity and improve self-reported function in adults with arthritis. Semin Arthritis Rheum 2017 Oct 5 doi: 10.1016/j.semarthrit.2017.10.003