With fall planting and pruning on the horizon, many of us are eager to turn our gardens and spruce up the yard. Minding your posture as you work will help prevent injuries and ensure that you're able to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Here are a few tips I always remind my patients to keep in mind:
If you find that you've over-done-it in the garden, we're here for you. Seek help from Dr. Dukes and her experienced team of professionals. She'll help you determine the severity of your issue and work to ensure quick recovery.
Call today (814) 752-2524.
Combine stress, repetitive activities and poor posture, and what do you get? Tension headaches.
Dr. Dukes revealed the most common contributors: poor posture, constantly looking down at your cell phone, working on your laptop in your home office all day, driving for hours without rest, playing video games for hours, chronic jaw clenching, and poor sleep posture.
Dr. Dukes explained that, “these activities overstretch the muscles on the back of your neck and weaken them, increasing your susceptibility to tension headaches. The second part of the problem is that using any muscle too much leads to pain and, often, results in tension headaches.” Episodic tension headaches come on quickly and are fairly painful. “They are usually associated with stressful events adn tend to be subside once the stressful event is over.” Chronic tension headaches can recur daily. They may come on as you wake up or after a long day of work or activity. “The muscles in your neck and scalp tend to stay contracted,” she says. “Pain and tightness develop on both sides of the head, in the forehead and at the base of the skull.”
Dr. Dukes recommends minimizing tension headache contributing factors by:
Minimizing stress: Try to avoid or limit stressful events.
Taking breaks: Limit the time you spend looking down at your phone. Take breaks on long drives.
Adjusting the way you sleep: Try sleeping on your back or on your side with a body pillow and your neck in neutral posture.
Exercise and stretch: Use a therapy cane or a hard therapy ball to massage out or stretch your neck and shoulder muscles.
Avoid clenching: If you have trouble avoiding this behavior, seek a dentist knowledgeable about temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome.
What about rubbing your temples when a tension headaches starts to build — does it help? “Muscle tension varies, so rubbing on your temples may not bring relief,” says Dr. Bang. “But rubbing on the tender spots, or trigger points, in your neck and shoulder muscles can help.”
If tension headaches don’t go away after trying these suggestions, it may be time to seek professional help from Dr. Dukes and her experienced team of professionals. Call today (814) 752-2524. Reach out to Dr. Dukes. Schedule your consultation and learn how Chiropractic can help you.
Did you know that water is part of every cell in your body? Good spinal health begins with good hydration. Dehydration can cause limited mobility, decreased flexibility, and pain.
From the time you get up in the morning you are putting pressure on your spine, compressing and decompressing the discs that lie between each vertebra.
If you don’t drink enough water, your body becomes dehydrated and your discs lack proper fluid pressure resulting in limited mobility, pain, and an increased risk of back injury. You may not even notice the typical signs of dehydrations such as headache and lethargy, but even lower levels of dehydration can cause serious problems in the body, especially if it is prolonged. Soda and other soft drinks do not supply the amount of water that is necessary for the body.
Water is the best way to hydrate your body, but it isn’t the only way. Foods like watermelon, lettuce, spinach, and soups are great sources of hydration. Herbal teas can also provide the body with the right source of water as well. Drinks with caffeine are not as effective since the caffeine can have a diuretic effect.
If you have constant or frequent back pain the answer could be dehydration and, you can change that. If you’re paying proper attention to hydration and find yourself still feeling aches and pains, reach out to Dr. Dukes. Schedule a consultation and learn how Chiropractic care can help you get back to living life on your terms. 813-752-2524
Prevent Travel-Related Aches & Pains
With many of us traveling once again, Dr. Dukes reminds you to keep your overall health and well-being in mind. Travel can be tough on your body. Altered sleep, long hours in a car or plane can leave you stressed, tired, stiff, sore or worse.
Prolonged sitting and lousy sleep can wreak havoc on your body. Keep these tips in mind, they'll help you minimize travel-related aches, pains and strains:
- Move Around. Sitting in the same position for a prolonged period puts a great deal of stress on your spine and joints. Get up, move around and stretch frequently. When you're unable to get up, pump (bend and straighten) your legs and feet periodically.
- Leg Positioning. Long car and airplane rides can be tight and uncomfortable. Keeping your feet and knees at a right angle helps keep stress off the lower back.
- Support your Low Back. Good support for the lower back is vital. Bring a back roll or small pillow to put behind your lower back for support.
- Support your Neck. Consider investing in a U-shaped neck pillow to allow your neck to rest, and to keep your neck from being strained if you happen to fall asleep. Be aware of your posturing and try to avoid slouching.
- Choose Water. Remember that alcohol, tea, and coffee are diuretics that can encourage dehydration. Water will rehydrate the body and help to prevent circulatory problems.
- Schedule Smart. It takes work to get proper rest while traveling.
Following these simple tips will help you enjoy more relaxing, healthful travel. If you do find yourself feeling a out-of-sorts, reach out to Dr. Dukes. Schedule a consultation. 813-752-2524
When injured, your body begins the healing process naturally through inflammation however imbalances in your immune system may cause your improperly stay ‘on’, continually creating more inflammation in response to the existing inflammation.
Most patients are surprised to learn that left unchecked, chronic inflammation can lead to a host of issues exhibited through symptoms such as: joint pain, weight gain/inability to lose weight, complexion/skin problems, high blood pressure,
respiratory conditions (asthma, allergies, congestion) or digestive issues (irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion).
The good news is that you can reboot your immune system and find relief through non-drug / non-invasive treatment options. Many of my patients have found success by following a 3-step course of care:
1.Regular chiropractic adjustments are key to reducing cytokines that, left unchecked, cause inflammation to run rampant.
2.Pulse Electromagnetic Field Technology is cutting-edge technology that we use to help suppress inflammatory responses at the cell membrane level typically resulting in reduced pain symptoms and increased range of motion.
3.Lifestyle changes are the final step to preventing chronic inflammation from recurring. Regular exercise, proper sleep, good nutrition, hydration and smoking cessation
Following this powerful course of care allows most patients to attain levels of wellness they never thought possible. If you feel that you may be suffering from chronic inflammation, make health your top priority and call Dr. Dukes at (813) 752-2524 to schedule your wellness consultation today.
Many of us have experienced shooting pains that extend through the legs and even into the feet. The pain passes, to return. Often, worse than before. It’s easy to self-diagnose incorrectly and assume that you have Sciatica. Often misdiagnosed, Sciatica is unique requiring specific treatment protocols to mitigate the debilitating effects. The good news is that Dr. Dukes can help you find relief.
WHAT IS SCIATICA?
Any situation in which the sciatic nerve is compromised by undue pressure can lead to Sciatica. Your sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body running from your lower back, downward through your buttocks, and deep into the back of each leg. Besides controlling your lower leg muscles it also provides sensation to your legs and soles of your feet. Those suffering from Sciatica feel persistent pain along their sciatic nerve.
Symptoms may range from tingling, dull aches, numbness, burning sensations and sharp pain. Symptoms usually affect one side of the body and are typically not attributed to a specific injury. Prolonged sitting, sneezing, coughing, or other sudden movements may cause intense symptom flare-ups.
TREATING THE CAUSE
Dr. Dukes works to find and treat the cause of your pain naturally by relieving pressure on the nerve. Patients often report that conventional treatments prolonged the problem by simply masking the symptoms with pain medication or muscle relaxants. While they found some pain relief, they struggled to get back to normal activities. Remember, taking pain medications only covers up a symptom, rather than treating the cause so that you can get back to living life on your terms.
Not all of us will be able to prevent Sciatica, but following a few healthy habits can increase your chances:
Keep moving, avoid sedentary lifestyles
work to maintain a healthy weight
use proper lifting technique
work on proper posture
avoid prolonged periods of sitting
WHAT TO DO NEXT
Any pain in the lower back that limits your movement or stops you from enjoying life requires attention. Your first step is to schedule a consultation and wellness exam with Dr. Dukes. She'll help you learn the cause and then you'll work together to learn your treatment options to get you back living life on your terms.
Make health your top priority, call Dr. Dukes at (813) 752-2524 and schedule your wellness consultation today.
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.
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
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.
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