October 2013 is National Chiropractic Health Month
This year’s theme—“Get Vertical”—focuses on Joint Health and its importance to living a good life and that includes healthy aging.
This October will also mark the first official launch of World Spine Day in this decade and we hope that people around the world will join together to raise awareness around the prevention and effective management of spinal conditions. It is a great time to spread the word about the benefits of getting active. Getting regular physical activity can benefit everyone at any age. And don’t tell yourself it’s too late. Because it’s not! All you have to do is Get Vertical as often as you can! But…do it safely and “preventively” by knowing these vital things:
- Are your joints really moving the way they need to?
- Do you have any structural imbalances?
- Do you have any weight bearing imbalances?
- Are your muscles pulling evenly?
How do you find out? Know What Your Structural Fingerprint® Is! Our Minneapolis/St. Paul Chiropractic office specializes in this type of exam, and we’d be glad to launch you on your way to safe and fun increased activity.
Our joints are critical to all movement and are the key to allow us to carry out normal activities of daily living. Some 150 million to 200 million cases of back pain send people to the doctor every year—and many of those are related to joint injuries. The bones that make up the joint allow movement, and it is the muscles that pull the bones that produce the movement.
The movements that you perform on a daily basis are critical to long-term joint health, as are proper nutrition, a healthy exercise regimen, and a healthy lifestyle. Moving a joint through its full range of motion serves several important purposes, including absorbing and/or diffusing shock . Joints are not supplied directly with blood as are other organs within the body, but instead are nourished with synovial fluid that is forced into the joint cartilage through pressure resulting from body movement. The best way to protect our joints is to use them properly and often. So the saying, “Use it or lose it” definitely applies to joint function.
During National Chiropractic Health Month this fall, the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and chiropractic physicians nationwide will promote the importance of joint health and the vital role physical activity plays in keeping joints healthy and pain free. This year’s theme—“Get Vertical”—focuses on getting off the couch or out of the office chair, and standing or moving more each day.
Sponsored by the ACA, National Chiropractic Health Month is a nationwide observance held each October. We hope the event helps raise public awareness of the benefits of Chiropractic care and its natural, whole-person, patient-centered approach to health and wellness.
Our goal is to help the public understand chiropractic care and how it can positively impact their health. We have the opportunity to educate and encourage the public to begin taking steps in the right direction – toward better health… By Getting Vertical as often as you can!
National Chiropractic Health Month
Most people know someone with joint pain, and joint replacement surgery—particularly involving hips and knees—is commonplace. What many do not know is that simple lifestyle changes can in some cases help prevent the need for this type of surgery and keep joints healthier longer.
Remaining physically active and pain-free is an important measure of the quality of someone’s life, and our Minneapolis/St. Paul Chiropractic office can help by providing exercise and lifestyle recommendations, nutritional advice, and natural approaches to managing aches and pains. Just a few healthy lifestyle changes, over time, can potentially mean the difference between being scheduled for joint replacement surgery or remaining active and pain-free well into your golden years.
Keeping your joints healthy will allow you to run, walk, jump, play sports, and do the other things that are important to you. Physical activity, a balanced diet, avoiding injuries, and getting plenty of sleep will help you stay healthy and keep your joints healthy too.
It’s never too late to change your couch potato ways!
Exercise can prevent many age-related changes to muscles, bones and joints – and reverse these changes as well. A moderate exercise program can help you maintain strength, balance, and flexibility. Exercise helps the bones stay strong. It’s never too late to start living an active lifestyle and enjoying the benefits.
Research shows that:
- Exercise can make bones stronger and help slow the rate of bone loss.
- Older people can increase muscle mass and strength, through muscle-strengthening activities.
- Balance and coordination exercises, such as Yoga and Tai chi, can help reduce the risk of falls.
- Physical activity in later life may delay the progression of osteoporosis as it slows down the rate at which bone mineral density is reduced.
- Weight-bearing exercise, such as walking or weight training, is the best type of exercise for maintenance of bone mass. There is a suggestion that twisting or rotational movements, where the muscle attachments pull on the bone, are also beneficial.
- Older people who exercise in water (which is not weight bearing) may still experience increases in bone and muscle mass compared to sedentary older people.
- Stretching is another excellent way to help maintain joint flexibility.
In honor of National Chiropractic Health Month, the ACA and our Minneapolis/St. Paul Chiropractic clinic offers these tips to help you get vertical and stay pain-free:
Stand up: Office dwellers can look into using standing desks or treadmill desks; but if you’re stuck sitting all day, you can still stretch your legs with a short walk about every 20 to 30 minutes.
Take micro-breaks: Frequently stretch your neck, arms and wrists, back, and legs. Simple stretches include neck rotations, fist clenches, arm dangles, and shoulder shrugs.
Get moving: You don’t have to work out like an Olympic athlete, just aim for a minimum of 20 to 30 minutes of exercise three to five days a week. Study after study has conclusively shown that keeping active—whether through sports, exercise, or everyday chores—will help you to live longer and enjoy each day more. Active people have a reduced risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and some forms of cancer. They generally have a more positive outlook on life and the energy to get things done and make things happen.
Eat right: A healthy diet—rich in fruits, vegetables and healthy fats—can help reduce inflammation and joint pain. Also limit red meat, refined sugar and white flour. Just a few simple changes can help maintain a healthy weight and have a positive impact on your overall health.
For more tips on healthy, pain-free living, get your structural system checked with our unique Structural Fingerprint® Exam, and talk to us about ways to improve the health of your muscles, joints, and bones.
Before beginning any exercise program it’s best to have your structural system evaluated. Why? Because we know that along with getting active again, people run the risk of “too” many aches and pains, or injuries. If or when that happens discouragement or inactivity sets in – and of course the whole purpose of getting active has gotten derailed. In other words we quit. But, with results of a biomechanical check-up, the Structural Fingerprint® Exam, recommendations can be developed and tailored to a routine best suited to your health situation. Then with joint mobilizing adjustments, re-conditioning therapies and dietary and nutritional counseling, you’ll feel better, have more energy and increase your quality of life by optimizing the health of your body. And of course, this is the whole idea..to live a life staying more active for a lot longer. A strategy worth its weight in gold!
Seek out professionals skilled in structural and biomechanical assessment to help get you going, and keep you going!
Love Your Bones
By Dr. William T. Norlin Chiropractor in Minneapolis/St Paul, Minnesota