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
We all understand the benefits of maintaining a healthy weight - and the challenges. There are so many variables. It can be overwhelming to sort through the seemingly endless plans, diets and programs out there.
Fortunately, chiropractic care offers a natural treatment that may help. By getting regular chiropractic adjustments, your spine may be relieved of pressure that could be causing subluxations, or dysfunctions of the spine. With these subluxations removed, exercise may become easier and you may experience improved nutrition resulting in healthy weight reduction. Working out with no or reduced pain enables patients to continue exercising, burning calories and achieving more effective weight loss.
Chiropractic adjustments may help improve muscle tone. Although it’s not a match for those dumbbells, think of the chiropractic manipulations as a supplement to your lifting much like your protein shake. Adjustments may help get rid of adipose tissue, which can lead to improved muscle tone and reduce excess weight gain. Adjustments also help your muscles relax, a benefit which aids recovery so you're ready for your next workout session. During this time your chiropractor might be able to spot potential injuries, which may help fix certain ailments before they turn into an issue that might hinder your weight loss.
Professional advice when taking on a new exercise and diet regimen is critical to long-term success. Too-much, too-fast and too-intense often leads to injury and or unsustainable results. Build your exercise and nutritional plan on facts. Work with your Chiropractic to find a healthier weight faster and safer. By approaching weight loss focused on your overall health, patients are more likely to establish safe, achievable and sustainable results.
When you're ready to give yourself the gift of good health, call Dr. Dukes. Schedule your examination and begin living life on your terms, again. (813) 752-2524
With all the traveling, lifting, cooking, cleaning and wrapping through the holiday season, it's easy to over-do-it.
Proper posture is key to preventing back pain in all you do and it's particularly important when lifting or wrapping presents. It's so easy to not think about...until it's too late. Wrapping presents can often be the straw that breaks your back - so to speak. Follow these tips to stay feeling your best:
1.) Avoid standing or sitting hunched-over
2.) Wrap as you buy - rather than wrapping for hours
3.) Remember to stretch & relax
4.) Take regular breaks
5.) Be proactive - schedule a massage during your most intense holiday weeks as preventative care
When you feel pain, call Dr. Dukes. Get checked out to stay in the spirit all season long. And remember, invest in your health - you'll reap the dividends throughout the years.
Massage therapy is a natural treatment approach that can help increase circulation, relieve tension, reduce stress, relieve anxiety, improve sleep, and relax your body to promote healing. Massage therapy is an important treatment tool. Did you know that many insurance companies now provide coverage for massage therapy sessions? Massage therapy benefits you in so many ways:
Strengthening Your Immune System – Regular massage sessions provide many benefits to the human body. It is a well-known fact that individuals who experience high levels of stress are more vulnerable to illness and injury. When stress is combined with sleep disturbances and poor nutrition, the impact is directed at the body’s immune system. Its ability to naturally protect itself against infections, pathogens, and bacteria is greatly reduced. Some might wonder how massage therapy benefits the immune system. Studies have indicated that regular massage sessions not only help reduce stress, but can also boost the immune system’s cytotoxic capacity (activity level of the body’s natural “killer cells”) and enhances the body’s ability to deliver nourishment. Moreover, massage therapy can be a great addition to any exercise program. Much like regular exercise can keep the body fine-tuned, regular massage therapy can help keep the immune system strong and resilient.
Helps Lower Blood Pressure – Regular massage therapy sessions have been found to reduce blood pressure levels. In fact, some long-term studies have shown that a consistent massage program can reduce both systolic (upper number) and diastolic (lower number) blood pressure. Moreover, it can also reduce cortisol levels within the body. Furthermore, consistent massage sessions can also reduce trigger sources for anxiety, hostility, tension, and depression. In turn, lower blood pressure levels can also reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and/or kidney failure, as well as many other health issues.
Promotes Healing – The purpose of massage therapy is to target the source of the body’s pain via eliminating tense muscles, increasing flexibility, and providing relaxation to the affected muscles as well as the body as a whole. Massage also promotes circulation to the affected or injured muscles, which increases nutrients and oxygen to the damaged tissues. In turn, this increased activity to the affected sites reduces stiffness and edema (swelling) in the muscles and joints, as well as increases flexibility to help reduce pain. Moreover, this form of therapy also releases endorphins (pain-killing hormones), which boost the dopamine and serotonin levels in the body. These hormones assist the body in many ways–physically as well as emotionally. Case in point, they promote healing, pain management, and feelings of euphoria, as well as help to calm the nerves.
Improves Circulation – The long-term benefits of massage therapy are not to be underestimated. Improved circulation is part of a snowball effect that occurs in the body as a result of receiving regular massage therapy on a consistent basis. This is because proper circulation brings damaged, stiff, and tense muscles the rich blood supply they need to promote healing.
Moreover, massage also promotes improved circulation via the use of hands-on pressure, which moves the blood through the damaged and congested areas of the body. In turn, the release of this same pressure causes new blood to flow into tissues. Furthermore, the squeezing, twisting, and pulling action of the massage technique also removes lactic acid from the muscle tissues. As a result, this action improves the lymph fluid circulation, which carries metabolic waste products away from internal organs and muscles. In turn, this results in lower blood pressure levels and improved overall body function.
Reduced Anxiety – When the body is tense and under stress, it produces unhealthy levels of the well-known stress hormone, cortisol, which can contribute to weight gain, sleeplessness, digestive problems, and headaches. Massage therapy has been shown to decrease cortisol levels in the body. This enables the body to enter a recovery mode. Moreover, this form of therapy also triggers lasting feelings of relaxation, improved mood, and reduced stress levels.
Stress Reduction – Not only can massage therapy help with stress relief, but regular massage sessions over a prolonged period of time can boost energy levels, reduce pain, and stimulate individuals on physical as well as emotional levels.
Improved Posture – Many Americans experience back, neck, and muscle pain from a variety of sources. However, the primary cause of this pain results from poor posture. In fact, chronic back pain, which is the number one reason for missed work days and second most common cause of disability, is often the result of incorrect or poor posture while standing and/or sitting. Moreover, being overweight, poor posture, and repetitive or overuse movements can also contribute to the strain on the back and other potential problem areas. As a result, the added strain often causes spasms, pain, and tense muscles in the hips, glutes, back, neck, and legs.
Massage therapy can help get the body back into proper alignment. In fact, improving one’s posture can be one of the most beneficial and relaxing aspects of massage therapy. Massage allows the body to relax and loosen the muscles made tense and sore via bad posture. In turn, this allows the body to position itself in its organic and pain-free posture. As part of a consistent massage therapy program, the body’s muscles are loosened and relaxed. Moreover, the joints have greater freedom, flexibility, range of motion, and pressure points are relieved. As a result, the body is able to position itself in an organic and healthy posture. In short, massage therapy helps to correct the positions and movements developed over time as a reaction to pain.
Massage therapy is now considered a mainstream treatment tool which means that most insurance companies provide treatment coverage.
As part of our whole-body approach to your health, massage therapy may just help you live the happy, healthy, well-adjusted life that you deserve. Make your health your top priority, call Dr. Dukes at (813) 752-2524 and schedule your wellness consultation today.
7 Surprising Benefits of Chiroropractic Care
Patients often seek out chiropractic care for acute conditions like headaches, back pain or neck pain. Did you know that these acute conditions are not the top 7 reasons patients stay with chiropractic care?
Proper nervous system care offers benefits that may surprise you such as: Better Digestion, Lower Blood Pressure, Stress Relief, Injury Prevention, Mood Improvement, Immune System Strengthening and Better Sleep.
More Settled Tummy
If you have a difficult time with digestion, regular chiropractic visits often ease symptoms safely, without the risks often associated with drug therapies.
Reduced Blood Pressure
It can decrease your blood pressure. If the spine is misaligned, body functions such as your blood pressure aren’t properly maintained which may be putting you at greater risk.
The stronger and healthier your spine is, the easier it is to balance. Better balance potentially helps you better avoid injuries due to slips or falls.
Have you ever said, 'I just don't feel right'? When your nervous system is out of line we know something is wrong but it can be tough to figure just what the trouble is. This can cause a great deal of mental and physical stress on your body. That's why regular wellness care is so important to feel your best.
Proper posture is vital to preventing injuries that can hold you back. Posture education and regular chiropractic adjustments are powerful tools to help ou acheive consistently proper posture at work, paly or rest.
Improve Your Mood
Wellness care helps balance every system in your body - including your body's chemistry. Physically feeling your best, and even working towards feeling your best, jump-starts the chemical signals that keep you in a positive mood.
Improve Your Immune System
Chiropractic adjustments help remove subluxations that prevent the nervous system from working properly. This includes the signals to and from your immune system. Your immune system can only work properly when your nervous system sends and receives the right signals.
Improve Your Sleep
So many of us suffer from sleep-related issues. Most of these sleep problems are related to stress, pain and/or body aches. Wellness treatments helps you improve sleep quality and get a good nights rest.
Chiropractic wellness care can helps you live the happy, healthy, well-adjusted life that you deserve. Make your health your top priority, call Dr. Dukes at (813) 752-2524 and schedule your wellness consultation today.
Soon-to-be-Moms and their loved ones often ask about how Chiropractic care might help them facilitate a safer and more comfortable pregnancy experience.
The great news is that Chiropractic Care can help. Here are answers to some of the questions I am most frequently asked:
Why should Moms-to-be seek out chiropractic care?
First, it is somewhat of a misconception that Chiropractors only deal with neck and back pain. The truth is we treat the 'whole patient' by ensuring balance in the body. Our goal is to ensure that the brain is in complete control of the entire body as well as all of its processes without any interruption in the communication of those messages. The way we do this is by adjusting the spine, pelvis and cranium, removing any subluxations (mis-alignments) which may detract from the electrical signal from the brain traveling along the nerves to their final destinations such as organs, muscles, tissues and so on. This is critical to safety and comfort for you and your developing baby. If you have subluxations in your spine, your bodily systems are likely not functioning at 100%. And, chances are that you and your baby's health could be impacted.
What type of health impact?
Consequences may take many forms from mild pain or discomfort to high blood pressure, gastric reflux, constipation, back pain or difficult labor (dystocia). Everything in your body is controlled by your brain and nervous system. You have nerves that you consciously feel and many more nerves that you cannot feel.
Your brain and body are in constant communication. During child birth your brain gives signals to release oxytocin to induce contractions, the brain then receives feedback as to how everything is working. When subluxations exist, your brain and body communication is compromised often resulting in a longer and more difficult labor.
Can chiropractors help correct my babies position for birth?
Breech babies are a big concern for most moms-to-be. We all want a safe birth for both Mom and baby. When the pelvis is mis-aligned the ligaments attaching the uterus to the pelvis get strained and the baby may be in the unfavorable head-down position. The Webster technique aims to re-align the pelvis and thus enable the baby to find a more favorable, more comfortable position. The goal of this Chiropractic technique is to reduce the effects of sacral subluxation/ SI joint dysfunction. In so doing neuro-biomechanical function in the pelvis is improved resulting in a safer, more comforable birthing process.
What about labor pains?
Study after study confirm that regular adjustments throughout your pregnancy may help you have a shorter and easier labor. And proper alignment of the pelvis and lumbar spine has been shown to decrease the low back pain which commonly occurs throughout pregnancy and after delivery without the use of drugs or injections.
What are the risks of undergoing the Webster technique?
The Webster technique is considered safe and there are minimal associated risks. The technique helps balance the pelvis restoring proper nerve flow to the pelvis, uterus and lower body muscles. The benefits of balancing your pelvis and relieving uterus torsion is that your baby is more likely to turn head-down and be in a more comfortable and favorable vaginal birth position. For some women, report mild discomfort from muscle spasms forming in areas around subluxated joints. The body has compensated to these mis-alignments and getting these taken care of may cause temporary mild tenderness. The other discomfort that may occur could be the baby shifting in the uterus, but that should not cause any more discomfort than the mother has experienced with previous movement of the child.
What should I consider when choosing a chiropractor?
When choosing a Chiropractor it is helpful to choose one who is certified in the Webster Technique. It's also helpful if the practice offers massage therapy in-house.
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