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Research has shown that those who walk regularly have reduced rates of heart disease, asthma, osteoporosis, obesity, type 2 diabetes, stroke and some cancers. It also improves circulation, increases bone strength and reduces cholesterol. Walking can also be one of the easiest forms of exercise to fit into your day for those who are pressed for time.

Julia Valentour, MS, an exercise physiologist and program coordinator at the American Council on Exercise (ACE) says, “Exercise doesn't have to be hard to be effective. The recommended 30 minutes can be broken up into two 15-minute sessions or even three 10-minute sessions, making it easy to weave into a busy lifestyle.” One of the many benefits of walking is that it can be done nearly anywhere. Whether you live in the country or the city, you can always find places to walk.

Experts suggest you start slowly and gradually build up to walking farther and faster. If you have been inactive for a while, start walking three times a week at a strolling speed for 20 minutes. Slowly work your way up to five times a week for 30 minutes. You will have to walk at more than strolling speed to begin receiving health benefits. Walk fast enough to raise your heart rate, to the point where you can say a few words comfortably without gasping but are not able to sing a song.

Walking is great for overall health, but those who want to lose some weight can benefit too. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, walking at a reasonable rate of three miles per hour burns 221 calories an hour, and walking at a brisk four miles an hour burns 334 calories per hour.

There are a number of things you can do to help motivate yourself to walk regularly:

Buy a pedometer — You should aim to walk a total of 10,000 steps a day, and a pedometer can help you keep track of exactly how many steps you have taken. Most people normally walk between 3,000 and 4,000 steps a day. You’ll be amazed at how many more steps you can add to your total by adopting some simple practices to increase the amount you walk. For instance, take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk the kids to school and park farther from the entrance to shops. Compete with yourself each day to see if you can improve your performance of the day before.

Listen to music or podcasts as you walk — It’s a great way of helping the time fly and it provides a nice soundtrack to the things you pass along the way. You can even learn a new language as you walk!

Enlist a walking buddy — When two people commit to a walking regimen, neither person wants to let the other down, so it’s more difficult to skip that day’s exercise.

Find online support — StartWalkingNow.org is a free program designed by the American Heart Association to help people get started on a walking program. Their online offerings include activity and nutrition tracking, a monthly newsletter with recipes and health tips and a way of connecting with others doing the same thing.

Walking is fun and it has many health benefits and no drawbacks, so get started today on the path to better health!

Yours in health,

Dr. Jay

www.AvonChiropracticClinic.com

[header] => Walk Your Way to Fitness [summary] =>

You do not need to join a gym to increase fitness. Walking is one type of exercise that is free and available to anyone possessing a sturdy pair of shoes. It is a low-impact form of exercise that is appropriate for all age groups and levels of fitness. Whether you’ve been a couch potato for years or are the fittest person on your block, walking for 30 minutes a day can provide you with a wide range of health benefits.

Research has shown that those who walk regularly have reduced rates of heart disease, asthma, osteoporosis, obesity, type 2 diabetes, stroke and some cancers. It also improves circulation, increases bone strength and reduces cholesterol. Walking can also be one of the easiest forms of exercise to fit into your day for…

[excerpt] => You do not need to join a gym to increase fitness. Walking is one type of exercise that is free and available to anyone possessing a sturdy pair of sh [image] => [author] => [authorid] => 0 [siteid] => 419 [categories] => Array ( ) [guid] => 5637b400cbe61000001 [unix_timestamp] => 1353972755 ) 1 -->

Not only do we shrink with age, but our height also varies considerably each day, by up to three-quarters of an inch. The vertebral discs that are sandwiched between the vertebrae, and which act as shock absorbers for the spine, are composed of up to 88% water. In the course of our daily activities, this water is slowly squeezed out of these discs every time the spine moves. Then when we are lying down at night in bed and pressure is taken off the discs, the disks reabsorb the expelled water, similar to a sponge. So it’s likely you are somewhat taller when you first get up in the morning than you are at the end of the day.

With age, a number of degenerative processes can interfere with keeping the vertebral discs properly hydrated, causing them to become less pliable. In addition, bone degeneration can contribute to the gradual collapse of the vertebrae, particularly in the upper back. That can take some inches off your height as well..

Studies have found that men lose and average of 1.2 inches in height between the ages of 30 and 70, and 2 inches in total by age 80. By comparison, women lose 2 inches in height between age 30 and 70 and a total of 3 inches by age 80.

While genetics plays the largest role in how much you shrink as you age, lifestyle choices can make a significant difference as well. Those who smoke, are obese, have diabetes, get little aerobic exercise, drink excessive amounts of alcohol and caffeine and who do not follow a healthy diet are at greater risk of losing a significant amount of height as they age.

And while losing some height as we age is normal, losing too much over a short period of time can be an indicator of a more serious health condition. It is not unusual to shrink in height by a quarter inch to a third of an inch each decade after the age of 40. However, if you are a man between the ages of 45 and 65 and notice that you are shrinking, you should see your doctor. Rapid loss of height in men can be an indicator of heart disease and can suggest they are at greater risk of a fracture of the spine or hip. A study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research found that men who lose two or more inches within two years after age 70 have a 54% greater risk of a hip fracture, and women have a 21% greater risk.

Another study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that men who had shrunk 1.2 inches or more over a 20-year span had a 46% greater likelihood of heart disease and were 64% more likely to die from any cause.

The best way to help preserve your height is to eat a balanced diet that is rich in calcium and vitamin D) and to get plenty of exercise, particularly weight-bearing exercise (which includes walking and running), which helps to keep bones strong.

Yours in health,

Dr. Jay

www.AvonChiropracticClinic.com

[header] => Why We Shrink As We Age [summary] =>

If you’ve ever noticed that the car ahead of you in traffic seems to be driving itself, there’s a good chance that the person driving it is elderly. Shrinking in height as we age is quite normal, and some people start to get shorter starting at about the age of 30. Only about 20% of the population does not noticeably shrink, which is due to a combination of good genetics and a healthy lifestyle.

Not only do we shrink with age, but our height also varies considerably each day, by up to three-quarters of an inch. The vertebral discs that are sandwiched between the vertebrae, and which act as shock absorbers for the spine, are composed of up to 88% water. In the course of our daily activities, this water is slowly squeezed out of these…

[excerpt] => If you’ve ever noticed that the car ahead of you in traffic seems to be driving itself, there’s a good chance that the person driving it i [image] => [author] => [authorid] => 0 [siteid] => 419 [categories] => Array ( ) [guid] => 5637b400cc27c000001 [unix_timestamp] => 1352164459 ) 1 -->

The story usually sounds something like this: “When my seven-year-old son comes home from school, he just helps himself to a snack from the refrigerator or cupboard. Sure—it’s almost always something that came from a box or was shrink-wrapped in plastic, but he gets something he likes and it’s easy…”

The first problem is that most of the items available to kids in this kind of scenario are snacks. Either that or they’re processed food alternatives like Oscar Meyer “Lunchables,” which consists of refined white flour, sugar, highly-processed meat and partially hydrogenated oils. It’s also common for a product like this to contain a kid’s entire daily recommended allowance of sodium as well as a long list of difficult-to-pronounce chemical ingredients.

The second problem is that this food is so easily accessible in quantity. It’s just there for the taking…

The situation I’m describing is very common. Adults in most households have very demanding schedules, and few of them are fond of cooking. However, with childhood obesity at record levels and the rates of diabetes and heart disease skyrocketing, it’s important that kids start out on the right foot in terms of nutrition. After all, this is the time in their lives when they begin to develop a sense of what is and isn’t healthy to eat. It’s also where a lifetime of eating habits start.

Part of the challenge is that many parents themselves never learned how to cook. Many were raised in the era of the TV dinner. Their own parents (today’s grandparents) were often tired from work and nothing was easier than popping a tray in the oven and having dinner ready 20 minutes later. While that’s fine once in a while, most healthy nutrients come from cooking whole, unprocessed foods. And it doesn’t have to be difficult. Home economics has been phased out in most schools, which is unfortunate, as it taught both boys and girls the essentials of how to cook and eat well.

Children who take part in planning and cooking a meal are more invested in sampling the outcome, and it’s a great way to introduce your kids to new foods that they otherwise may not try. If they cooked it themselves, they are far more likely to eat it. Be sure to include a wide range of colorful vegetables so they learn to enjoy more than just potatoes and plain pasta.

One simple recipe that’s nutritious and easy for kids is pasta with tomato sauce. It’s as easy as using a couple of cans of plain tomato puree from the supermarket as a base for the sauce and building from there. Just sauté a little chopped onion in olive oil in a medium saucepan, then add some ground beef and stir until browned. Add the two cans of tomato puree, some dried basil and oregano or herbs de Provence, a sprinkling of salt and pepper, and voila! Now you have healthy (and tasty) pasta sauce.

If you want to add a little more color and nutrition, add some chopped red, yellow and green peppers to the sauce after sautéing the onions (red peppers have a higher vitamin C content than oranges). Let your kids choose the kind of pasta to use. The fusilli spirals and bowtie pasta are big favorites!

Teaching your kids to cook is a not only great way of spending quality time with them, but it will teach them useful skills that will get them started on the path to healthy eating. Besides, while you may learn one or two new cooking techniques as well while you’re at it!

Yours in health,

Dr. Jay

www.AvonChiropracticClinic.com

 

[header] => Want your kids to eat well? Teach them to cook! [summary] =>

While chatting with patients recently about their families’ meal schedules and eating habits, I noticed a disturbing pattern that’s worth writing about. It has to do with kids and the way we’re teaching them to approach food. Whether we call it “grab-and-go” or “fast food at home”, there are clear signs that our children are adopting the same bad habits as their time-pressed parents.

The story usually sounds something like this: “When my seven-year-old son comes home from school, he just helps himself to a snack from the refrigerator or cupboard. Sure—it’s almost always something that came from a box or was shrink-wrapped in plastic, but he gets something he likes and it’s easy…”

The first problem is that most of the items available…

[excerpt] => While chatting with patients recently about their families’ meal schedules and eating habits, I noticed a disturbing pattern that’s worth [image] => [author] => [authorid] => 0 [siteid] => 419 [categories] => Array ( ) [guid] => 5637b400cc63f000001 [unix_timestamp] => 1350953023 ) 1 -->

People who practice sports that involve a lot of movement of their arms over their head such as swimmers and tennis players are more likely to suffer from this injury, as are those over age 40, due to the normal loss of elasticity and degeneration that comes with aging. Injuries can be caused from a direct blow to the shoulder, falling on the arm when it is outstretched or having the arm yanked. It is more likely for the rotator cuff to be injured when the muscles of the shoulder area have been weakened by inactivity. The most common injuries to the rotator cuff are tendonitis and rotator cuff tears.

A rotator cuff tear can be either a result of a direct injury to the arm or may evolve from rotator cuff tendonitis (also called impingement syndrome). Impingement syndrome occurs when the tendons of the rotator cuff rub against the shoulder blade, causing it to become inflamed, fray and weaken. Arthritis and bone spurs can also contribute to this condition. A symptom that you may have a torn rotator cuff is having a dull ache in the upper arm and shoulder that may extend down to the elbow, especially when moving the arm over the head.

Treatment options include rest, pain killers, ice packs, chiropractic care, steroid injections and surgery. Many rotator cuff injuries heal by themselves in time, and using an NSAID such as ibuprofen may help to reduce inflammation and control pain. Ice packs can also be applied to the shoulder for this purpose (bags of frozen vegetables work well too!)

Your chiropractor can use a range of treatments to first address the pain and inflammation of a rotator cuff tear. These may include ultrasound, electrical muscle stimulation and heat and ice treatments. Then chiropractic adjustments and targeted exercises are used to restore mobility and increase range of movement, without having to resort to steroid injections or surgery. After approximately six to eight weeks of treatment most patients are able to resume normal activities.

In some cases surgery may be indicated if there has been a complete tear. This can involve widening the space through which the rotator cuff tendon passes, which releases the trapped tendon, or repairing the tendon itself.

If you've injured your shoulder or are suffering from some aches or pains, give us a call to schedule a free consultation: 317-600-3070. We look forward to helping you get back on the road to wellness.

Yours in health,

Dr. Jay

www.AvonChiropracticClinic.com

[header] => Rotator Cuff Injury Causes and Treatment Options [summary] =>

One of the most common causes of shoulder pain is due to injury to the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is comprised of a group of four muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint, providing the shoulder with both stability and movement.  Most rotator cuff problems involve injury to the tendons, though the muscles are also sometimes involved. How do these injuries happen and what are your treatment options? Read on!

People who practice sports that involve a lot of movement of their arms over their head such as swimmers and tennis players are more likely to suffer from this injury, as are those over age 40, due to the normal loss of elasticity and degeneration that comes with aging. Injuries can be caused from a direct blow to…

[excerpt] => One of the most common causes of shoulder pain is due to injury to the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is comprised of a group of four muscles and tend [image] => [author] => [authorid] => 0 [siteid] => 419 [categories] => Array ( ) [guid] => 5637b400cc97e000001 [unix_timestamp] => 1350497924 ) 1 -->

Daily activity – not just activity per se but also sitting or standing for long periods of time – can put strain on the muscles of your back and cause them to become tight and inflexible. Over time this can lead to bigger problems, as these overly tight muscles pull your vertebrae and joints out of alignment and thus exert pressure on the nerves of your spinal cord and extremities. Stretching can help to prevent this. The Mayo Clinic lists the five most important benefits of regular stretching as: increased flexibility and range of motion, better posture, improved circulation, enhanced coordination and stress relief.

Following are four simple stretches that are beneficial to your back. Use your doctor's recommendations and your own research to add to the list:

  • Lower back – Lie on your back and place one hand over each knee to pull them gently towards your chest, and hold the position for 30 seconds. A variation of this stretch is to stay in this position and roll to the right and the left, bringing your knees as close to the floor as is comfortable. Repeat 2 to 3 times on each side.

  • Lower back – This is often called the "cat stretch." Kneel on the floor with your hands at shoulder width and knees at hip width. Start with your back flat and parallel to the floor, but then gently arch it upwards as high as is comfortable, while pulling up with your stomach muscles. Repeat as often as is comfortable. As a variation, alternate the upward stretches with a downward stretch, arching your abdomen towards the floor.

  • Upper back – Stand, raise your arms out in front of you and interlock your fingers. Then rotate your hands so that your palms are facing away from your body, and push out gently. Repeat 2-3 times, holding for 30 seconds.

  • Upper back – Sit on a chair and stretch your hands in front of you, fingers interlaced as in the previous stretch. As before, rotate your hands, but then this time contract your stomach muscles and lean forward, arching your back as if you were stretching it over a large exercise ball. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 2 to 3 times.


If you don't stretch regularly, check with your doctor before undertaking any new exercise program. As you begin to practice them, keep a few simple rules in mind. First, always warm up before stretching by walking or moving around. If you are adding back stretches to an existing exercise routine, perform them both before and after exercising. While stretching, hold each position for at least 30 seconds to give the muscles time to stretch out and relax. Don't bounce or strain; stretching should be pain- and effort-free to be effective. Stretch both sides of your body equally, and remember to breathe normally; if you find yourself holding your breath or panting, you're trying too hard.

If you're already experiencing back pain and these stretches don't help, feel free to call our office to schedule an appointment: 317-600-3070

Yours in health,

Dr. Jay

www.AvonChiropracticClinic.com [header] => Simple Stretches for Back Pain Prevention [summary] => Many people consult a doctor of chiropractic when they are experiencing back pain, which is a good idea, because back pain – especially if chronic – can be a symptom of more serious structural problems that should be treated before they become worse. But there are proactive steps you can take to prevent back pain in the first place, and one of them is adding a regimen of simple back stretches to your day.

Daily activity – not just activity per se but also sitting or standing for long periods of time – can put strain on the muscles of your back and cause them to become tight and inflexible. Over time this can lead to bigger problems, as these overly tight muscles pull your vertebrae and joints out of alignment and thus… [excerpt] => Many people consult a doctor of chiropractic when they are experiencing back pain, which is a good idea, because back pain – especially if chronic [image] => [author] => [authorid] => 0 [siteid] => 419 [categories] => Array ( ) [guid] => 5637b400ccffb000001 [unix_timestamp] => 1350088366 ) 1 -->