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
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.
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
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.
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.
Mom Summer Survival: Focus on Self-Care
Some moms can’t wait for summer months. Family time, vacation, holidays, travel and keeping up with the yard. It's easy to over-do-it.
Regularly scheduled stretching and massage therapy is a great way to focus on your self-care and prevent everyday aches and pains from becoming problematic. Professional therapy works wonders. And, by scheduling regularly at a Chiropractic office, you’ll be much more likely to be aware of potential issues and be prepared in advance so you can take steps to prevent or treat them. Call and schedule a soothing therapy session today.
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
If you’re like me, time speeds up over the holidays and before I know it, healthy habits have fallen by the wayside.
It’s easy to talk keeping your workout schedule but quite a different matter to make it happen. It’s just so rewarding to celebrate with friends and family.
Make this year different. Minimize your stress and keep stay on a healthy schedule by introducing brief ‘micro-workouts’ into your daily routine.
Our bodies were designed to move. Study after study show how regular exercise reduces stress and improves function, flexibility as well as overall health.
Maintaining your regular routine through all the food, family and festivities over the holidays is tough – if not impossible – for most of us.
I recommend adjusting how you approach your workout so that you can stay on track. Incorporate ten-minute micro-workouts 3 times each day. No special equipment are needed. Walk to the store, take the stairs or create a 10-minute workout that combines 5-minutes of stretching and 5-minutes of calisthenics. No matter how you decide to formulate your micro-workout, you’ll be glad you did. Recent research published in the American Journal of Health Promotion suggests that short periods of activity really add up. When researchers analyzed data from more than 6,000 adults, ages 18 to 85, they found that those who got short bouts of exercise (between 1 and 10 minutes) through everyday activities experienced many of the same benefits, as did those who continuously exercised for 30 minutes.
Call Dr. Dukes today. Schedule a wellness exam before beginning any exercise regimen.
Dr. Dukes will help you find a safe and effective plan to help you feel your best and stick to it - for life.
Make health your top priority, call Dr. Dukes at (813) 752-2524 and schedule your wellness consultation today.
When discussing long-term wellness, it's common for patient's to comment about a 'super-healthy' friend that doesn't have to diet or work to be fit.
They wonder what that friend does to be so 'lucky'.
The truth is that 'luck' is often grounded in a lifetime of simple habits.
If I had to pick one habit that my healthiest patients have in common, it is routine. They focus on making sleep a priority, enjoy daily physical activity, make water their primary beverage, eat regularly and cook most meals at home, limit screen (TV, phone, etc) time, make self-care a priority, occasionally miss a workout and they focus on keeping life simple.
Of course that demands of work and kids make holding to a routine tough. That's why keeping your routine simple is key to lifelong wellness. Here are a few tips to help you simplify your routine and stick to it despite the demands life throws at you:
1.) Go to bed earlier than you think you should. First, turn off your screens (TV, computer, phone, etc,) at least an hour before bed time. This will help que your body that it's time to rest and reduce the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep. Have a target bed-time and try to be in bed at least 15-minutes ahead of that. Going to bed at a regular time has broad benefits beyond helping to ensure that we get enough sleep each night.
2.) Wake-up, warm-up and eat. You don't have to wake and 5am and workout like a madman to be healthy. My healthiest patients wake-up about the same time every day. Then they warm-up. Some stretch, some walk and others have a more intense workout. All of them get moving first thing. Then they have good breakfast every day.
3.) Drink plenty of water. Healthy people make water their drink of choice. For them, it's not about avoiding coffee, tea or sugary drinks, they simply chose to drink water more often. You should too.
4.) Plan your meals and avoid processed foods. This can be tough - particularly for those with kids and demanding work schedules. You'll have to work ahead by planning your meals and maybe even preparing them ahead of time. Once you develop this habit, you'll feel the difference every day.
5.) Limit your screen time. Our digital gadgets have a big impact on our wellness. Healthy people simply spend less time in front of a screen at night. They understand that it's not realistic to eliminate TV, social media and checking email - they simple choose to limit their exposure after dark.
6.) Prioritize self-care. Whether it's work or social, healthy people make self-care a priority. They understand that it's important to say 'no' so that they can avoid being overscheduled and maintain their routine.
7.) It's okay to miss a workout now and then. Patients are often shocked to hear this. Healthy people listen to their body. They know that a workout should make you feel better, not worse. If you're not 100% it's okay to take a rest day, exchange your workout for a massage, or go to yoga instead of a HITT class.
8.) Keep it simple. Hopefully you recognize that what steps 1-7 have in common is simplicity. My patients that enjoy consistent wellness all share a sense of simplicity in their daily routines. They understand that life may disrupt their routine today and it's okay - tomorrow is a new day.
A consultation and wellness exam from Dr. Dukes can help you find what works best for you to feel your best and stick to it - for life.
Make health your top priority, call Dr. Dukes at (813) 752-2524 and schedule your wellness consultation today.
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