Most people know how they could live a healthier life. They could eat better, exercise more, meditate daily, avoid drugs or alcohol, or reduce stress. Often, people wait until an issue arises that prevents them from performing their daily activities before they take action. In this case, it is important to go see your San Rafael Chiropractor right away. This article is written for the people that choose to be proactive and strengthen their defenses against pain and loss of function.
Many people do not realize that they possess the power to affect changes within themselves that will reduce their pain and increase their functionality. There are many techniques that can be utilized at home that will reduce pain, increase strength, loosen tight muscles to increase flexibility, and enable and empower people to perform the activities of their daily lives. Increasing core strength, maintaining a low body fat percentage, increasing flexibility, and increasing aerobic endurance are all excellent ways to train the body to be more able to perform on a daily basis. A regimen that includes activities to achieve these 4 goals would be considered well rounded and complete. Planks are an excellent exercise to increase core strength, and, because when performed correctly are low risk for injury, are an excellent exercise for people at all fitness levels. A sensible diet will expedite all wellness goals towards becoming a reality. Stretching daily or using a foam roller will help loosen tight muscles and reduce imbalances within the musculoskeletal system. All training regimens should include some cardio-vascular exercise like biking, swimming, walking or running, based on the person’s individual capacity to perform these activities.
Pain in the body like back pain is usually a result of inflammation. Anyone who has sprained an ankle knows that after the initial sharp sensation of stretching a ligament beyond its range, usually the joint feels numb until the inflammation sets in. The cardinal signs of inflammation are redness, swelling, heat, pain, and loss of function. Therefore, reducing inflammation after trauma will reduce pain and increase function. A tried and true method for reducing local inflammation is to use cryotherapy or ice. Icing an affected area for 5-10 minutes daily will greatly reduce the signs of inflammation in a matter of days; remember to never place the ice directly on the skin, use an old t-shirt or towel to protect the skin from frostbite. An anti-inflammatory diet can reduce inflammation systemically from the body and will have pervasive effects throughout all of the bodies systems. These diets usually discourage red meat, sugars, processed grain carbohydrates, and alcohol. Increasing daily intake of Vitamin C, and adding other anti-inflammatories like curcumin from turmeric, or arnica will quickly reduce the body’s inflammation.
It is important to recognize that no one is walking around functioning at 100%. Pain does not arise when you dip from 100% functionality down to 99%, rather it is often the last symptom to appear and the first to disappear once changes to daily life have been made. Let’s say that pain appears in an area when its functionality drops below 70%. If you get down to 65%, you are in pain, and you realize it is time to make a change. You might start a regimen of icing, reduce inflammatory foods, and increase anti-inflammatories. This will quickly get you back over 70% to 75% or so and thereby make your pain disappear. However, you are still very much at risk for re-exacerbation of your pre-existing condition; i.e. you don’t have a lot of wiggle room in case you have a stressful day, fall, are involved in an accident, get sick, etc. It is therefore of the utmost importance to continue your healthy protocol for days and weeks after the symptoms disappear to ensure that you have given yourself the best possible chance to avoid further discomfort and disability.
Stabilized Chiropractic in San Rafael is here to help you maintain your proactive lifestyle and help you when you do have pains or loss of function. Give us a call today at (415) 472-2232. Stabilized Chiropractic is your Marin County Chiropractor.