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.
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
Sciatica have you down? Sciatica is most commonly caused by lower lumbar pressure on nerve groups which is why Dr. Dukes spinal decompression treatments can be so effective.
Get back to living life on your terms. Duke's Chiropractic Health Clinic provides proven non-surgical, drug-free and comprehensive services that give you the relief you need and continuing care that may prevent chronic flare-ups. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Dukes today. Learn how if the drug-free therapies she specializes in are right for you. (813) 752-2524
When pinched or compromised, Sciatica symptoms can range from mild to debilitating:
Low back pain and sciatica do not have to reduce your quality of life. Our team is trained to help alleviate your pain so you can get back to doing the activities you enjoy. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Dukes today. (813) 752-2524
Nine out of 10 Americans suffer from headaches. Work pressures, relationship stress and other life challenges can cause tension headaches. Most of us share bad habits such as repetitive activities and poor posture. The result is tension in your neck and shoulders that feels like it slowly travels up the base of your skull to wrap around your head.
Schedule an examination with Dr. Dukes. Research shows that spinal manipulation can be an effective treatment option for tension headaches.
Together, see if chiropractic care is right for you. (813) 752-2524
Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to prevent tension headaches. Activities such as Tech-Neck, Commuting, Video-Gaming, Jaw Clenching, Stomach Sleeping contribute to tension headaches.
Episodic tension headaches are often tied to stressful events. They typically come on quickly and are fairly painful. Chronic tension headaches tend to occur daily. They may come on as you wake up or after a long day of work or activity. Muscles in your neck and scalp tend to stay contracted with pain and tightness on across the head, in the forehead and at the base of the skull.
Ease tension headaches by:
Schedule an examination with Dr. Dukes. Together, see if chiropractic care is right for you.
Stress is a reality of modern living. Left untreated, stress may compound minor health issues and lead to major health issues such as anxiety or depression. Luckily, chiropractic care can help you manage your stress because chiropractic focuses on the spine care.
One of the effects of chronic stress is muscle tension and contraction, which can lead to dangerously unbalanced skeletal pressures which often cause headaches, migraines, muscle tension, and back and neck aches. Chiropractic adjustments and manual therapies help ease these painful symptoms through natural, drug-free treatment. Take control by scheduling an appointment.
Chiropractic Care can help reduce stress in four primary areas:
Reducing Muscle Tension Helps Reduce Stress
As you encounter stress, muscles tighten and become more tense. Over time, this takes a toll through chronic poor posture, loss of sleep, and difficulty focusing on tasks. Chiropractic care can help reduce tension and restore your body to its natural balance through manual therapies and spinal adjustments.
Restore Natural Balance & Function Through Spinal Adjustments
Your brain communicates everything with the help of your spine. As stress intensifies, you tense up causing your spine to move and become out of alignment. Chiropractic adjustments help restore proper alignment so that the body can begin to heal itself.
Heal Faster with Proper Posture & Regular Stretching
Posture refers to the position of the body while standing, sitting or lying down. Good posture and regular light stretching helps keep your spine in a neutral or balanced state which reduces the negative effects of stress and helps prevent regression of your condition through your course of care.
Good Nutrition and Hydration Help Too
Good nutrition and proper hydration are the foundation of maintaining your health. Eating the right foods, avoiding some foods and drinking plenty of water will help reduce your stress symptoms faster so you can get back to normal.
Call Dr. Dukes today. Schedule an examination. Together, you can learn if chiropractic care is right for you. (813) 752-2524
Providing healing and wellness without drugs or invasive surgery by focusing on spine function and natural methods is what makes Chiropractic care unique. You may be surprised to know that Dr. Dukes uses a host of techniques and methods beyond spinal adjustments to help her patients find relief and lifelong wellness.
Natural therapies such as heat, cold, massage, stretching and exercise are the most common tools. When employed in a specific and controlled manner, these and other techniques positively influence a wide range of body functions reducing pain symptoms while increasing wellness.
Dr. Dukes often uses a variety of therapies to help her patients:
It is important to remember that each patient's situation is unique. After a complete examination, Dr. Dukes may employ specific manipulations (chiropractic adjustments) in conjunction with one or more of the above therapies to remove structural or nervous system irritation that may be a major contributing factor to your condition.
If you or your loved one is experiencing any of these conditions, chiropractic care may help.
Call Dr. Dukes today. Schedule an examination. Together, you can learn if chiropractic care is right for you and your specific situation. Call today (813) 752-2524
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