Merry Christmas and a Healthy New Year

New year chiropractic

2018 offers a fresh start for your spine

After the dust of the holiday season settles, your body may need to hit the reset button. The accumulated stress that results from a busy holiday schedule contributes to muscle tension which tends to pull the spine out of alignment. The resulting nerve compression can make for a painful start to the new year. Chiropractic offers the perfect tonic for those looking to rebalance their bodies and start 2018 on the right foot. 

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Suffering Through the Holidays: A Typical Back Pain Story

Back pain westwood

This holiday season, gift natural pain relief

With more than 60% of Americans reporting they have experienced back pain bad enough to lead them to seek medical help, chances are good that someone in your family is suffering through the family activities this holiday season. And with so much to do during the holidays, many of these people will choose to medicate with OTC painkillers rather than naturally managaging their pain. If you are looking to get a thoughtful gift for said back pack sufferer, why not go back to the basics: heat and ice. 

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Keep Back Pain Out of your Holiday Plans

Holiday back pain westwood

Nothing is more disruptive to the holiday season than back pain. 

The holidays offer us a much needed reprieve from the general stress of life. It is a time to unwind in front of the Christmas tree and focus on the small things that really matter: family, friends and staying cozy amdist the cold weather. But there is one thing that threatens your enjoyment of the holidays more than Scrooge and a cohort of Christmas villains ever could: back pain.

Whether you plan to travel or stay at home for the holidays, take steps to mitigate problems with your spine

Avoiding back pain is a near-constant struggle. Choose to not accept your pain as a foregone conclusion; treat your back right by following these tips:

  • Drink responsibly: brandy-eggnog, mulled wine, punch; whatever your christmas cocktail of choice, remember that alcohol influences inflammation. Furthermore, alcoholic beverages are laden with calories that increase weight and the burden on your spine. 
  • Travel right: if you are flying cross-country to see family, make sure you stand up from your seat to stretch regularly. Use a back support even if it is only a rolled up jacket; be careful lifting suitcases to and from the overhead compartment.
  • Focus on staying hydrated at all times: the importance of this cannot be stated enough. Get yourself a water bottle and try to consume an ounce of water for every pound of body weight.
  • Sneakily tone your core: whenever you think of it, pull your belly button in toward your spine and hold for as long as is comfortable. 

Make sure you check in at your Westwood chiropractor during or after the holiday season!

Christmas break is hard on our spines. Activity levels go down, consumption of food and alcohol goes up; we drive and fly great distances so we can sit around on the couch. There is plenty of time for our spines to move out of alignment, for muscles to tighten and pain to accrue. At our office in Westwood, we establish alignment in your spine and work on undoing the muscle tension that accumulates during Christmas. If you are interested in using our services to overcome Christmas-related back pain, give us a call to schedule an appointment today. 

The Developing Spine: Unique Risk Factors Facing our Youth

Back pain and youth in Westwood

Can you remember a time before back pain?

For many of us, it is a struggle just to keep the pain down, let alone achieve fulll range of motion in our spinal joints. But there was a time not long ago when we could do seemingly anything without even giving a thought to back pain. Chances are your kids are living through these halcyon days right now, blissfully unaware of how much strife back pain causes. Unfortunately, since the technology boom, our youth are facing more risk factors than ever when it comes to maintaining the health of their spines.

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Sarcopenia Does Not Have to Define Your Life as a Senior

sarcopenia westwood

Why we should take the loss of muscle mass seriously

At some point in our thirties, we begin to lose muscle mass slowly but steadily. This process begins to accelerate as we reach seniority, between the ages of 65 and 75. Along the way, the rate of loss is affected by how active you are: in the beginning, muscle loss may be negligible for active people; for non-active people it can be as much as 3-5% each year. Losing muscle poses a threat to your well-being in the following ways: 

  • Contributes to frailty
  • Makes us less able
  • Increases vulnerability to injury
  • Reduces our activity levels

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Sciatica in Westwood

Sciatica in westwood

Sciatica is widespread in Westwood

Sciatica is a widespread condition that is experienced in wildly different ways by those affected. One person may experience burning, sharp and prickly pain while another may feel only a dull aching; one person may feel it only intermittently while the other has symptoms constantly. Other characteristics of sciatica include:

  • Feelings of numbness in the extremities
  • Radiating pain
  • Lost range of motion 

Sciatica is a symptom

Of nerve compression to be precise. The sciatic nerve is the longest and largest spinal nerve in the human body, which means that when it is put under pressure, the ripple effect can be enormous. As we age, our spines are more likely to move out of alignment. This may not cause you any problems until it starts to impinge on the sciatic nerve; we implore you not to let it reach this point. Chiropractic is as much about prevention as it is about reactively treating pain. Maintaining spinal alignment  But if you are already in the grips of sciatic nerve pain, read on to find out how we go about treating it. 

Treating sciatica in Westwood

Restoring spinal alignment is the quickest way to start pushing back against sciatica. By returning the misaligned vertebral bodies to a state of balance, we alleviate compression from the nerves, immediately making a difference in your pain. We then focus on strengthening and stretching that muscles that matter to keep your spine aligned; in this way, we prevent sciatica from recurring. If you are interested in treating your sciatic nerve pain in a natural and efficient manner, give our office in Westwood a call to schedule an appointment today. 

Successfully Treating Back Pain Begins with an Informed Decision

Prevention of back pain westwood

Too many traditional treatments are falling short when it comes to treating back pain

That is because so many of these treatments fail to address the complexity of the back pain phenomenon. Back pain is not simply the acute effect of an injury; it is a more interconnected biological experience that takes into account your biomechanical being, musculoskeletal health and neurochemistry. What’s more, so much of our health industry is focused on treating back pain reactively as time and again it is proven that the best way to treat back pain is through prevention

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Improving Your Spinal Health Through Awareness

Back pain

The first step for improving spinal health is awareness

Awareness that this is the one and only spine you will get; awareness that every movement you make has an impact, for better or worse, on your spine. We often only become aware of our spine when our backs are in pain- this is indicative of a wider scale mentality in the health industry in America. Rather than focusing on prevention, we wait for pain, injury or illness to strike before we recognize something is wrong. At OFW Chiropractic, we want to flip this script and help you take charge of your spinal health today. 

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Pillow Talk: Supporting your Spine to Sleep Better

pillow strategy

Not all sleep is equal

Sleep should be a time of rest and rejuvenation but, for many people sleeping in subpar settings, it can actually be a time that contributes to a cycle of stress and back pain. Comfort of body and mind are what let us fall asleep; comfort influences feelings of calmness, which lead to feelings of relaxation, in which your body is able to reduce energy expenditure and focus on resting. Sleeping on an old mattress with ill-fitting pillows hardly sets the tone for such a scenario. So let’s truly define comfort as the combination of a physical state of being and state of mind in which you are able to sleep restfully and protect the health of your spine. Changing the way you use your pillows is a key way to influence a healthier sleep life. 

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Mobilization is Gentle Therapy for the Spine


Stiff spinal joints limit range of motion and cause pain 

Whether it’s due to the chronic inflammation involved in arthritis, acute injury, or tight muscles surrounding the joint capsules, a stiff and sore spinal joint is sure to throw a wrench in your best laid plans. And that wrench often hurts- the stiffness itself is a precautionary measure telling your body not to move this particular region excessively in order to avoid reaching a breaking point. The cruel irony is that motion actually facilitates healing so, in order to reduce stiffness and pain, we need to focus on improving range of motion. How do we do that? Spinal mobilization.

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