Keeping your spine in line is more important than most of my patients realize. Just as a healthy spine can help you live your best life, an unhealthy or weak spine may lead to a host of painful issues.
Good Spine Health Benefits
Spine Health is Essential
The bottom line is that your spine health affects your whole body. This is why it’s essential to have good spine health. Dr. Dukes can help you reap these benefits.
Some of the best ways to acquire a healthy spine are:
Risks of Poor Spine Health
Back and neck pain are obvious symptoms but did you know that an unhealthy spine can lead to poor digestion, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, increased risks of falls and accidents, migraines and headaches as well as reduced immune system function.
If you want to live life on your terms, call Dr. Dukes. Schedule a consultation. She will help you acquire and maintain good spine health so that you can do just that today and all your tomorrows.
Despite medical advancements an emphasis on health and wellness, Americans have a shorter average life expectancy than almost all other high-income countries. In fact, the U.S. ranked 31st in the world for life expectancy beginning in 2015.
Thankfully for us, this has more to do with poor habits than it does with environmental factors or medical advancements—adhering to healthy lifestyle can boost the quality and length of your life by a decade or more.
A study from Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, which was over 30 years in the making, has managed to narrow down the top five habits and priorities you should work into your everyday life. And, they mirror this guidance Chiropractors have been providing for more than 125 years.
I encourage you to ‘dare to be different’ and adopt these 5 common sense habits that will keep you living life on your terms longer:
•Focus on eating whole foods like fresh fruits and veggies; avoid processed foods.
•Move your body everyday; no time for a full workout today? Evening walks can be just as effective.
•Strive to maintain a comfortable, healthy body weight.
•Drink in moderation (if you drink); no more than 1 glass per day for women or 2 for men.
•Avoid smoking and tobacco
If you or a loved one would like to live a long, healthy life, talk to Dr. Dukes. She can advise you on the best habits and means of living longer naturally – without addictive drugs nor invasive surgeries.
It's obvious that sky-rocketing healthcare costs are out of control. Patients, insurance companies and even the government is seeking ways contain healthcare costs while maintaining quality of care. The good news is that a 4-year study published in JAMA Internal Medicine medical journal revealed that chiropractic is a cost-effective option for health care with benefits that extend beyond just the basic neck and back pain. In a time where we are faced with rising medical costs and an opioid epidemic, utilizing conservative, non-pharmaceutical treatment options is vital. Chiropractic has been proven both safe, and effective. Additionally, patients of chiropractors report a high level of satisfaction with the care they have received.
The studies key findings revealed that those initiating treatment through conservative chiropractic care for back-pain specific treatment, the cost & time savings were substantial:
While more extensive care is sometimes needed, by beginning with conservative, non-pharmaceutical care, you reduce your chance of needing opioid medications or surgery. You also avoid the associated side effects, lengthy recovery time and risks that accompany them. Plus, with medical costs rising, this study shows you will also most likely reduce your overall health care costs.
If you or a loved one are experiencing back or neck pain, talk to Dr. Dukes about how chiropractic can help. Dr. Dukes will perform a complete exam and, if appropriate, will develop a treatment plan to address your condition. In addition to spinal manipulation, nutrition, modalities, and rehab exercises, Dr. Dukes can order additional testing as well as provide a referral to another health care provider if needed.
About 14,000 children are treated for backpack-related injuries every year. Overweight, improperly fitted or improperly worn backpacks can cause neck, back and shoulder pain along with arm tingling and numbness.
When used properly, backpacks evenly distribute the weight of the load across the body, reducing potential health risks.
Here's checklist to help you keep your student safer:
Using Backpacks Wisely:
If your student is struggling to get the backpack on or off, leans awkwardly while wearing the backpack, is experiencing neck or back pain, numbness or weakness in the arms or legs, talk to Dr. Dukes. An ounce of prevention might just help you avoid pounds of agony. www.DukesChiropractic.com
HOW DO I IMPROVE MY WELLNESS THROUGH GOOD POSTURE?
1. Strengthen your back muscles
Many of us slump because of underdeveloped back muscles. Simple exercises, a few times a day can improve your strength and flexibility which will improve your posture. Try incorporating Shoulder Rolls, Lunges and Squats into your daily routine.
2. Stand up more
Take regular standing breaks. Your chair could be an ergonomic champion, but standing up will strengthen muscles and encourage better alignment.
3. Adjust your car seat
Make sure that your headrest remains centered near the middle of your head. And ensure that head is positioned 4 inches or less from the seat.
4. Focus on good sleep
A firm mattress can help as well as using fewer pillows. If your mattress is too soft, your back could be contorting unnaturally. And, too many pillows may encourage bad sleeping posture as you move in your sleep.
5. Be a string
Your spine needs to be straight. Act like your spine is a string. Is the string bent? Keep the string straight.
Good posture is so important for long-term health and wellness. If you're working hard to focus on your wellness but still not feeling your best, call Dr. Dukes. She's helped so many understand the root of their health challenges and achieve lifelong wellness. Dr. Dukes and her team can help you get back to living life on your terms. Call today. (813) 752-2524
One positive outcomes from our pandemic is that more of us are walking more often. And, chances are that walking is something you've never really thought.
Walking offers tremendous health benefits. But, if it's been a while since you've been active, it's important to take a look at how you walk. After all, it’s a repetitive motion and thousands of steps per day can put a lot of stress on your entire body resulting in aches and pains that may keep you from realizing those benefits.
Chances are, you learned to walk when you were just a toddler and you haven’t really thought about it much since. But life and activity levels change so it's important to learn how to walk correctly. Here's how to make the most of your daily strolls step-by-step.
Understand the mechanics
Having a clear idea of what a step actually involves can help you visualize how to walk correctly. Every step happens in two phases: stance and swing. A single gait cycle of stance and swing typically lasts about 1-second.” Your brain does all of that instinctually. Understanding the parts can be valuable in assessing where you might have weaknesses and can help assess any pain you’re having.
Pick the right shoes
Choosing poorly fitting or unsupportive shoes can lead to serious health problems. While symptomatic aches and pains may begin at your feet, the core problem often creates spinal mis-alignments that wreak havoc all over your body. There’s no perfect shoe for everyone. Stability is crucial. Avoid walking in sandals or other footwear without arch support.
Many shoe stores offer options with corrective structures designed to provide support in specific areas or even correct problems. I recommend starting with an established local running store or show store that specializes in corrective shoes. They'll look at the sole of your current shoes to determine wear patterns. If your shoes are wearing too much on the inside, then you might need something that gives you a little more arch support. If they’re wearing more quickly at the heel and causing pain, then you might need a little more cushioning. If you’re unsure about the shape of your step, sticking with a neutral shoe is a good place to start unless you’re having specific pain or are getting a personal assessment.
Pay attention to posture
It’s possible for your body to have an injury that you haven't noticed which is causing you to over-compensate and walk imbalanced. The obvious sign of this is poor posture. Poor posture often indicates weakness, pain or injury. When this happens we lean over to the weak or painful side, shifting the center of our mass to alleviate forces on that limb. That imbalance will cause of host of problems throughout the body.
If you start to recognize that you're imbalanced, seek professional help. Avoid attempting to force yourself into the right position because that often makes issues worse and accelerates health problems. Rather, call to schedule a consultation. We'll work together to find the underlying cause then use treatment to help eliminate the source of the problem rather than simply addressing the symptom. Sometimes the treatment solution is as simple as a combination of massage and learning proper walking technique and posture.
Stand up straight
Slouching is never healthy and that’s especially true while walking. Pull your shoulders back, keep your bum tucked underneath you, and your head parallel to the ground. As you lift your chin up, you'll automatically help bring your head in line with your pelvis and eliminate slouching. If you have a habit of slouching at a desk all day, it's normal that your back, neck, and shoulder muscles may feel sore after a long walk. Keep at it, the soreness will soon be replaced with a feeling of vitality.
Once you’re a more experienced walker, it’s tempting to try and up your pace and distance. But doing too much, too soon can cause problems with your stride and limit your workout capabilities. Taking too big of a stride will require your pelvis to rotate too far to step out in front of you. This puts stress on your lower back and a lot of stress on your heel as it impacts the ground. If you're looking to put a 'little more umpf' into your walking, I recommend increasing the pace of your steps rather than compromising your health by overstretching your stride.
A variety of problems ranging from joint pain, foot discomfort, and posture issues, and especially lower back pain can be alleviated through custom orthotics. These are insoles that slip into shoes. They are custom-crafted especially for your unique foot shape and biomechanical needs.
Dr. Dukes has helped many patients struggling with low back pain, knee pain, plantar fasciitis, and even neck and shoulder pain find relief through custom orthotics so they can achieve their health and fitness goals.
When you're ready to live your best life, call me. Schedule a consultation. The team at Dukes Chiropractic is here for you. (813) 752-2524
Dr. Dukes spends her days helping people get back to doing what they love and avoid suffering from aches and pains that hold them back from truly living life.
Time and again Dr. Dukes finds lower back discomfort is the most common compliant. Why? Sitting is the main culprit. Prolonged sitting often causes the lower back muscles to become misaligned.
Poor posture is a compounding factor because lower back muscles then have to work overtime, becoming exhausted and weak resulting pain symptoms related to spinal mis-alignment. Remember that your spine is curved, so proper back alignment entails an 'S' curve — your back shouldn’t be a straight line. The back of your skull, your shoulder blades, and your lower pelvis should be lined up. Correct posture helps your body stay in top shape and avoid injury.
Good posture is the first step. Your second step should be regular preventative stretching and core strengthening exercices such as these:
1. Stretch your hip flexors and quadriceps: To help relieve lower back tension and pain, Dr. Dukes recommends standing hip flexor stretches and quad stretches (https://youtu.be/7r8yUtqLnDw), both of which work the front of your thigh. Doing these allow for proper pelvic mobility, which puts less stress on your lower back muscles.
2. Work on your mobility: Dr. Dukes says it’s really important to have mobility in the pelvis area and the vertebrae in your lower back. Ensuring that the pelvis, sacrum, and lumbar vertebrae are moving properly is a critical factor in lower back health. Try these exercise ball back stretches (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfgI4B20IZ0) and work on neutralizing any pelvic tilt that you may have.
Kudos if you practice good posture and are working exercises such as these into your routine and are realizing the benefits. Dr. Dukes wants you to establish safe and effictive routines. Be sure to schedule a consultation to learn proper posture, stretching and exercising techniques. If you're still struggling with back pain, call Dr. Dukes and schedule an examination. The sooner you do, the sooner you'll be back to living life on your terms.
We see many patients who are frustrated with the lack of solutions to their serious health conditions, and are resigned to a life of daily chronic pain and illness.
If you’re discouraged with traditional medical options, and have tried everything to find relief, Dr. Dukes can help. Pulse Electromagnetic Field Technology (or PEMF) has radically transformed the quality of life for a number of our patients. In fact, many patients come in for the treatment of a particular issue then end up finding relief and healing from multiple conditions.
This reparative technique is most commonly used in the field of orthopedics for the treatment of non-union fractures, failed fusions, congenital pseudarthrosis and depression. In the case of bone healing, PEMF uses electrical energy to direct a series of magnetic pulses through injured tissue whereby each magnetic pulse induces a tiny electrical signal that stimulates cellular repair. Many studies have also demonstrated the effectiveness of PEMF in healing soft-tissue wounds; suppressing inflammatory responses at the cell membrane level to alleviate pain, and increasing range of motion. The value of pulsed electromagnetic field therapy has been shown to cover a wide range of conditions, with well documented trials carried out by hospitals, rheumatologists, chiropractors, physiotherapists and neurologists.
Although electromagnetic therapy has a long history in Europe, the FDA first approved non-invasive devices using pulsed electromagnetic fields designed to stimulate bone growth in 1979. Then in 2004, pulsed electromagnetic field system was approved by FDA as an adjunct to cervical fusion surgery in patients at high risk for non-fusion. Over the years, the use of PEMF stimulation has been proven safe and effective in treating a wide variety of conditions.
There is hope for chronic pain. Contact Dr. Dukes today to learn more about PEMF, and experience real freedom from pain. Call 813.752.2524 and schedule your examination. Learn if PEMF exercise therapy is right for you.
If you can't seem to get a good night's sleep, there's some good news.
Booking a visit with a chiropractor can do more than simply soothe your aches and pains — it may also improve the quality of your shuteye. While chiropractors generally aren’t thought of as sleep experts, one-third of people who have a chiropractic adjustment report that they experience immediate sleep improvement.
Is this treatment right for you? If it’s pain that’s keeping you awake—whether it's back pain, neck pain or headaches—then maybe. Chiropractic care helps alleviate discomfort while improving relaxation and blood flow. So if a lower backache is the cause of your tossing and turning, then it may be worth a visit. But if it’s, say, anxiety that’s keeping you up, then you’re better off finding a different type of specialist, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist.
Not only can a chiropractor diagnose and treat spinal problems to relieve discomfort, they can also offer suggestions for getting better sleep. Your chiropractor may tell you which specific sleep position [https://sleep.org/articles/best-sleep-position-for-your-body/] may be best for you and whether a chiropractic pillow or a more supportive mattress might be the key to relieving your restless nights. And, Chiropractic treatment is 100% natural – no invasive surgeries or risky medications.
Adults aren’t the only ones who can benefit. Forty percent of infants experience deeper slumber after just one session with a chiropractor—a fact that every parent will love, considering that about one out of four babies has sleep troubles. And it’s likely that once your tot is sleeping well, you’ll get a better night’s sleep, too.
Intrigued? Learn more, call Dr. Dukes. Schedule your examination and begin living life on your terms, again. (813) 752-2524
Did you know that healthy body alignment can improve your circulation and heart health?
Studies reveal that chiropractic treatment such as the Atlas method may be used to reduce hypertension, reducing the risk of heart attacks. Fifty people who had recently developed high blood pressure were split into ‘A’ and ‘B’ groups. Patients in group ‘A’ were given Chiropractic therapy intended to enhance circulation. Group ‘B’ was given a placebo treatment. Researchers found that group ‘A’ treated with chiropractic had much lower blood pressure on average than group ‘B’.
The director of the study, Dr. George Bakris, MD, remarked, “When the statistician brought me the data, I actually didn’t believe it,” he said. “But we checked for everything, and there it was. This procedure has the effect of not one, but two blood-pressure medications given in combination. We saw no side effects and no problems.”
Additional studies reveal that chiropractic care can lower heart rate while reducing chest pain & anxiety. A study conducted by Palmer Chiropractic College researchers determined that chiropractic care lowers heart rate and alleviates chest pain. Chiropractic treatment also reduces anxiety, according to research published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics.
Do you want to use chiropractic care to naturally improve the health of your heart and lower your blood pressure? At Dukes Chiropractic, we help provide the body heal itself without surgery or medication. Learn more, call Dr. Dukes. Schedule your examination and begin living life on your terms, again. (813) 752-2524
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