Choosing The Best Chiropractor

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Choosing The Best ChiropractorThe chiropractic profession is one with a large variety of options. These decisions can make it very difficult to choose the best chiropractor to meet your needs.

This task is exceptionally challenging because chiropractic treatment is a physical procedure, you must give consideration to the personality and rapport of the physician and your compatibility with their techniques.

Here are a few questions to ask when looking for a chiropractor and a few red flags that let you know who to avoid.

What is a “Good” Chiropractor? How Can You Find One?

In order to find the chiropractor that is best suited for you and your needs, there are a few steps you can take. Get a good recommendation from your primary care physician, physical therapist or other trusted health professional. Ask them what their recommendations are and who they view as competent and trustworthy, or who they would recommend to a friend or family member.

You can also ask friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors for recommendations. But make sure to take their advice with caution, as the perfect chiropractor for someone else may not meet your needs. It is important to choose a chiropractor who meets your individual needs.

If you get the same recommendation from different sources, that chiropractic is likely a trustworthy candidate.

Before starting treatment, it is usually best to conduct a telephone interview or request an in-office consultation to learn more about the chiropractor, the clinic, and the techniques used. Often the treating chiropractor will request a personal consultation to discuss these details.

For most people, it is important to feel comfortable with the chiropractor and the clinic to have an overall positive treatment experience. Your level of comfort has to do mainly with your personal preferences, anything from the techniques used to the location of the office and the overall feel of the practice.

There are many questions to consider:

  • Is the chiropractor friendly and courteous?
  • Does you feel comfortable talking with the chiropractor?
  • Does the chiropractor fully answer all questions asked?
  • Does the doctor listen to the patient’s complete explanation of symptoms and treatment concerns/preferences?
  • How many years has the chiropractor been in practice?
  • Does the chiropractor have a specific undergraduate or post-graduate specialty?

Although not necessary, some chiropractors pursue post-graduate programs in various specialties, such as orthopedics, sports medicine, rehabilitation, neurology, nutrition.
You may also want to research if there are any disciplinary actions against the chiropractor. This information is available from each state’s Chiropractic Regulation & Licensing Board, which can usually be found on the state’s website.

Do not feel like you must be treated by the first chiropractor you see, as many people interview several chiropractors before finding one best suited for their needs.

When you find the chiropractor that best meets your needs, your life and health will be significantly improved. Please contact Tuck Clinic today for more information.

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How To Prevent Travel Aches And Strains

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How To Prevent Travel Aches And StrainsIn this day and age, it’s common to have many relatives and friends far from home. This is why traveling has become a crucial part of everyone’s lives. In the summer months, it is also a popular time to squeeze in a fun family vacation. But regardless of if you are taking a two-hour drive or a four-hour plane ride, you will likely end up feeling tired, cramped, and sore. Uncomfortable positions can cause body pains. Having to sit in one position for an extended period of time can numb your muscles and quickly make you feel uncomfortable. This is because the blood flow tends to get restricted and is not able to travel freely through your body.

You should always prepare your body for travel. How can you do that? Easy, warm up. Perform a couple of stretching exercises. Take a walk and move your muscles. Do an exercise that focuses on the circulation of blood flow to each and every part or muscle of your body.

How To Prevent Aches and Strains On Airplanes

When traveling by air, make sure that your seat is not hollowed. Hollowed seats can cause you to sit in an uncomfortable position, leaving you irritated. If your seat is hollowed, put cushions on the seat or any kind of small mattress. Moreover, your spine is shaped in a curvy way. To maintain that curve while sitting, put a pillow behind so as to support your back. Tuck cushions just on the space of your neck and headrest so as not to cramp your neck muscles.

Check the weight of your baggage before you leave. Because if the baggage weighs more than your body weight, lifting them up to put them inside compartments can cause pain in the lower back. Moreover, whenever you put the baggage inside the compartment, make sure you are not rotated in a different position or angle. Twists and turns to tuck the luggage in while being in a rotated position can cause pain in the neck. And when stowing your luggage under the seats, make sure you don’t twist or turn in an awkward position when doing so. This can cause unwanted muscle strain. Always try to sit in different positions to keep the blood flow steady. Lean your legs against bags or bring your knees up and down.

How To Prevent Aches and Strains In The Car

When traveling by car, always make sure to adjust the seat if you’re the driver. Bring the seat close to the steering wheel, as is comfortable to you. Make sure your knees are in a higher position than your hips. To check that, just slide your fingers behind the back of your knee near the thigh. If you fail to slide the fingers, adjust your seat. Use a cushion to keep your back straight. Make sure not to grip the steering wheel too hard. This can constrict blood flow. Exercise your eyes by moving them in different positions so as not to cause stress or headaches. Always take breaks when driving as well.

These are simple steps on how you can travel comfortably. If you experiencing post-travel pains be sure to make an appointment with Tuck Chiropractic. Travel safe this spring!

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5 Reasons Why You Should Visit A Chiropractor Regularly

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5 Reasons Why You Should Visit A Chiropractor RegularlyYour back aches, your posture stinks and you have stress that you can feel in your neck. It may be time to think about visiting the chiropractor! Millions of Americans receive chiropractic care, a natural, drugless approach that works with patients to help them to achieve better health.

The basic principle that chiropractors apply to their profession and their practice is the body’s unique ability to heal itself with the appropriate help and guidance. While physical health is one of the major benefits of regular visits to the chiropractor, mental health is also a large benefit, along with others.

1.) Improve Posture

Regular chiropractic adjustments can align tilting and curves in your spine. In a generation where our phones and computers are more and more prevalent, neck issues become common as we spend time in front of a computer screen or hunched over a phone. When you visit your chiropractor on a routine basis, your overall posture and strength will be improved and save you from various issues that poor posture can lead to.

2.) Relieve Stress

In addition to the stresses put on our bodies by technology and other new advancements, our daily lives are incredibly busy and very stressful. We are surrounded by many stress factors in our everyday lives, including the stress your body is under that is not as easily seen, such as the stress put on your body and mind when your nervous system is out of line and your entire muscular and skeletal systems are not in the proper position. This can often lead to your body feeling out of line. If you regularly see a chiropractor, your stress can be relieved and your entire body will feel more balanced. The positive relaxation messages that are immediately sent to your brain will leave you with less tension. In addition, you will feel more prepared and in control when stressful situations are faced.

3.) Improve Your Mood

When you are less stressed and more balanced, your mood is improved all of your body’s systems are more in balance. Balancing your overall health and all of your systems will help to maintain overall health. When you increase good hormones such as dopamine and decrease bad hormones such as cortisol, you can make a huge difference in how efficiently your brain and body operate.

4.) Sleep More Restfully

You also need sleep to maintain a stress-free, healthy life – but millions of Americans don’t get nearly enough sleep. If you suffer from a lack of sleep or chronic sleeping disorders, it can seriously impact your body’s overall health. Regular chiropractic visits will help you maintain balance throughout your life and will greatly improve your sleep.

5.) Be More Energetic

With lack of sleep, stress, and crooked spines, it is no wonder some of us lack the energy to accomplish our everyday tasks. But a lack of energy can make living and thriving a difficult task. With a regular chiropractic adjustment, you can find yourself less fatigued, much more energetic, and able to complete all of your everyday tasks.

If you could benefit from any of these things, contact Tuck Chiropractic today for more information and a consultation!

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Exercises that are Safe on Your Lower Back

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Exercises that are Safe on Your Lower BackHey, we’ve all been there, you’re sitting at your desk all day and begin noticing constant low back pain. While you may think this pain is most likely just a muscle cramp, your condition can continue to worsen without seeking treatment.

Our team understands chronic low back pain can make exercising more difficult, however it is important to keep moving! Avoid sedentary activities such as sitting or lying down for long periods. Below are a few exercises we recommend to help with your low back pain:

The Knee-to-Chest Stretch

Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Tighten your stomach muscles and bring one knee to your chest. Hold for 5 seconds and then lower your leg. Do 10 reps and then switch legs. If it hurts your back, place a towel or pillow under your knee.

Cat-Cow Pose

To do this stretch, start in a kneeling position with your buttocks resting on your heels and place your hands on the floor in front of you. When you are ready to begin, inhale deeply and arch your upper back towards the ceiling like a cat stretching. As you exhale, round your back and tuck your chin towards your chest. This is one repetition.

Pelvic Tilts

Pelvic tilts are a simple exercise that you can do anywhere. Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and your arms at your sides. Then flatten your back against the floor by tightening your stomach muscles and pressing down on the small of your back. To relax, release the muscles in your stomach. Repeat several times.

Knee Rolls

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Slowly roll your knees from side to side for about 30 seconds, keeping your hips flat on the floor and making sure you don’t rotate your spine during this exercise. Repeat this movement about 10 times for each side for the best results.

Standing Hamstring Stretch

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, and bend forward at the waist. Keep your knees slightly bent so you don’t hyperextend them. Bend at the hips, not the waist. When you feel a stretch in the backs of your thighs, hold that position for 20 seconds.

Child’s Pose

Begin on your hands and knees with your knees wide apart. Lower your bottom back toward your heels as you reach your arms out in front of you. Rest your forehead on the ground and breathe deeply for one to three minutes, depending on your level of flexibility.

Supermans

Lie on your stomach with your arms extended overhead. Squeeze your buttocks, then lift your arms and legs off the floor so that only your belly button is touching the floor. Hold this position for up to 45 seconds, then return to the start position. Do 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions each day.

Plank

Get into a push-up position on the floor. Bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms. Your elbows should be directly beneath your shoulders, and your body should form a straight line from head to feet. Brace your core by contracting your abs as if you were about to be punched in the gut. Hold this position for 10 seconds, then relax. Repeat 10-20 times.

A good rule of thumb is to always pay attention to your body and if you are feeling different pains or movements at a certain point during the exercise, stop and consult a professional before continuing. Our goal is to provide individualized treatment for your low back pain. If you have questions regarding which exercises are best for your body, contact Tuck Chiropractic today!

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Running & Chiropractic Care

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Running & Chiropractic CareHappy New Year! As we enter the new year, we know many of you may have some exciting new year’s resolutions you are ready to jump into. Upping your exercise routine is a common new year’s promise but can also be a common cause of injury and pain on your body. Fortunately, we are here to help you. For those of you who are thinking of running this new year, read on to learn how chiropractic care can transform you into a better, stronger, runner.

Importance of Good Posture

Your form is crucial to helping you run fast and efficiently. When you run in proper form, your body should be relaxed as you move and lessen the risk of injury and pain.

If your arms are tense while you run or you find yourself slouching during your exercise, your shoulders, neck, and lower back may become fatigued, achy, strained, and tender.

Aside from preventing muscle aches and soreness while running, your posture also affects your propulsion off the ground and the amount of impact your bones absorb when you land. In some cases, poor posture may cause you to round your shoulders and tighten the chest, preventing you from taking full, easy breaths while running.

Various factors can affect your posture and cause misalignment. These factors can include running in the same direction on the same course, not replacing shoes as often as you should, or frequently running on uneven surfaces. Even the way you relax at home may impact your posture, for instance, if you sit in the same position every day, your muscles may become tight which can lead to strain and pain during exercise.

How Can Chiropractic Care Help You?

Check Your Posture
When your body is misaligned, your running stride and form can become uneven as well. It can also increase your risk of pain and injury. Misalignments can lead to joint dysfunction and cause unnecessary tension in other areas of the body. When you visit a chiropractor, we can check your body for any misalignments that may be causing tension or affecting your form and ability to run as efficiently as possible.

If we notice anything we can use manual manipulation, massage, or machine-assisted manipulation to realign your body and correct your form. If we don’t check for misalignments and correct them at the source, certain areas of the body may experience continuous wear and tear and muscle strain.

Reduce Risk of Injury
When your body is out of alignment, your core may not be engaged properly causing other muscles to compensate. To compensate our body uses muscles, joints, and other soft tissues the wrong way which can lead to pain and injury.

Common injuries seen in runners from misalignment, improper form, or overuse can include ankle sprains, hip pain, knee pain, shin splints, and plantar fasciitis.

With regular visitors to our office, we can conduct functional examinations and posture evaluations to check for any misalignments in the musculoskeletal system that may be causing pain or leading to future injury.

Assist in Recovery
If you are currently in pain, we may be able to help you as well. Pain in your feet, legs, lower back, shoulder, and neck may be caused by strained muscles, inflamed joints, or pinched nerves. Massage, stretching, rest, and the correction of any misalignments or joint dysfunctions can help you recover faster, relieve pain, and get back on track.

We can also recommend exercises to help strengthen muscles and joints to help you regain full mobility and function.

Our #1 Tip

Whether you are a marathon runner or trying to pick up a new habit, don’t forget to stretch before and after your exercise. During your warm-ups, move dynamically, and be sure to include every part of your body–especially your calves and hip flexors to strengthen your form. Your warm-up routine should last at least 5 minutes. Warm up longer if needed. Stretching after your workout is important too, to prevent muscle strain, relax muscles, and reduce the accumulation of lactic acid in your muscles.

If you are a runner experiencing pain, wanting to improve your run, or starting a new year’s resolution be sure to visit our office so that we can help guide you into a healthy and happy new year pain-free! For more information on how we can help you run more efficiently or to schedule an appointment, contact Tuck Chiropractic today.

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A Crick in The Neck

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A Crick in The NeckWaking up in the morning only to feel a crick in your neck can be a tough way to start your day. The stiff uncomfortable sensation in your neck can sometimes feel as though you can’t move your neck at all making it difficult to go about your day. Fortunately, most cases can be remedied at home!

A Crick in Your Neck

A crick in your neck or a stiff neck is a form of acute neck pain that often affects the muscles in your lower neck and upper back muscles. The muscles and soft tissues in the area become strained resulting in a rigid, stiffness that can limit your range of motion.

Symptoms

Aside from a stiff and uncomfortable neck, there are other symptoms associated with this condition. Common symptoms include:

  • A stiff feeling in the lower neck and upper back muscles
  • Reduced mobility
  • Popping feeling when your neck moves a specific way

If you experience additional symptoms such as increased pain, fever, balance issues, numbness, or if your symptoms last longer than 72 hours, contact your doctor.

Causes

From sleeping in the wrong position, overstraining during a workout, or an underlying condition; there are a variety of causes for a stiff neck. Common causes of a crick in the neck may include:

  • Heavy labor or poor lifting posture
  • Not enough support on your neck during rest
  • Poor head and neck posture
  • Reaching or looking a certain way for an extended period
  • Sleeping in an abnormal position
  • Stress
  • Trauma
  • Whiplash injury

In a small percentage of cases, a stiff neck can be a symptom of a cervical spine condition such as pinched nerves, arthritis, herniated discs, spinal fractures, spinal stenosis, and spondylosis.

How Do You Treat a Stiff Neck?

The treatment options will vary depending on the cause of your stiff neck, but fortunately, in many cases the condition can resolve on its own and typically disappear within a few days.

At-home remedies for a stiff neck can include rest accompanied with over-the-counter pain medication such as Tylenol, Motrin, and Aleve can help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. Gentle stretches such as slowly rocking your head side to side or rotating it in a circle might relieve stiff muscles or constricted nerves. A supportive pillow, changes in posture, and sleeping position can also be good lifestyle changes to include in your treatment plan if this condition occurs chronically.

Heat and ice therapy can help to loosen stiff muscles and relax the nerves in your spine and reduce swelling of the soft tissues. We recommend only applying ice and heat in 10-15 increments switching between the two to determine which is more effective for your condition.

If you find these home remedies are ineffective, your doctor may suggest scheduling an appointment for chiropractic care. Your chiropractic will assess your spine for any misalignments. If found, there are several treatment options. Massage and manual manipulation can be an excellent way to release tension, realign the spine, and reduce inflammation. Additionally, your chiropractor may recommend stretches and exercises to strengthen the neck and back muscles and improve mobility and range of motion in the affected area.

If your pain is caused by an underlying medical condition, your treatments will focus on treating the condition first and should be treated by your primary care provider.

In some cases, this painful ailment can be prevented by adjusting your posture while doing daily activities, stretching your neck muscles throughout the day, and sleeping in a supportive position. However, should you experience a crick in the neck, we are here to help you find relief.

For more information on how to relieve a stiff neck or to schedule an appointment, contact Tuck Chiropractic today.

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Cold Weather, Joint Pain, and Chiropractic Care

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Cold Weather, Joint Pain, and Chiropractic CareWhen the temperature starts to cool, a lot of us become aware of how the weather can affect our wellbeing–emotionally, mentally, and physically. If you struggle with joint pain or are diagnosed with arthritis, you might know just how the cold can easily lead to painful and achy joints. As chiropractors, many of our patients come in during the winter due to increased joint pain and stiffness. It is a common belief that those with troublesome joints may be able to predict the weather, but where does this come from, and is it true?

Does The Weather Affect Joint Pain?

Unfortunately, there are no studies that prove arthritis or joint can predict the weather. However, there is enough evidence to prove that your condition can become inflamed or irritated by colder weather. We have a few ideas as to where this myth may have come from.

During colder weather, the barometric pressure drops and can cause your joints to expand and place additional pressure on surrounding nerves inflaming your condition. Additionally, when the temperature drops, fluid can become more viscous making it difficult for them to flow freely preventing them from working properly which may increase sensitivity and pain. People are also often less active in colder weather making joints likely to stiffen.

Signs of Joint Inflammation

  • Discomfort
  • Fatigue
  • Grinding or cracking sound
  • Increased stiffness
  • Limited motion
  • Pain in the joint
  • Redness, swelling, or tenderness around the joint
  • Weakness and instability

Can Chiropractic Care Help?

If your joint pain is caused by damage over time due to joint misalignment, poor posture, or overworking of the joint, then chiropractic care can help. Chiropractic manipulations and soft tissue therapies can reduce joint restrictions and misalignments which can help to remove painful symptoms, reduce inflammation, and restore your range of motion.

It is important to note though that we cannot restore the damage that is already done or the loss of cartilage. During your consultation, we will determine the cause of your joint pain and decide what form of treatment is right for you.

What Can You Do?

While no one can control the weather, there are a few tips you can take to limit your risk of joint pain due to cold weather. Keep yourself as warm as possible with layers of clothing and compression garments. If it’s cold outside, opt for gentle indoor exercises and stretches to keep your joints mobile and loose during the winter.

The colder weather is just one of the many stressors that may cause chronic pain, fatigue, and joint discomfort. By visiting our office regularly for treatment, we can reduce and prevent severe aching joints this winter. For more information on how we can help you combat the cold and our services or to schedule an appointment, contact Tuck Chiropractic today.

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October is National Chiropractic Health Month

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October is National Chiropractic Health MonthOctober is finally here–and that means it is National Chiropractic Health Month! During this month, we join hundreds of practices across the nation in encouraging the public to seek out the benefits of chiropractic care, and this year’s theme is “Keep Moving!”.

We understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected many of us in our ability to venture outside of the house and be active. Lack of physical activity can impact not only our physical health but also our mental and emotional health. Over the last two years, many have discovered just how beneficial daily movement and exercise can be to our overall health and feeling of well-being.

Keep Moving Campaign

This year our campaign is all about movement and how important daily exercise is to our health and wellbeing. You may wonder how this connects to chiropractic care… As experts in utilizing a drug-free, whole-person approach to your health, the condition of your bones and muscles is important. Lack of movement and physical activity may lead to weight gain and increase your risk of joint pain, injuries, cardiovascular health problems, and other musculoskeletal conditions.

An Active Approach

Daily physical activity strengthens your bones, muscles, and joints while improving your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Here are some tips you can use to get you moving throughout the day!

Exercises for the Workplace

When in the office, we understand it can be difficult to exercise, but there are ways of strengthening your body. Remember to sit straight with both feet on the ground, as this helps you maintain good posture and evenly distribute your weight across your body preventing muscle pain and inflammation. Keep your head at an even position by moving your screen to eye level. This will prevent you from straining your neck.

Take small exercise breaks throughout the day. Every 20 minutes would be great even for light stretching. Other ways to increase movement in the workplace include using the stairs, gently shaking out your limbs, rolling your shoulders and ankles, and stretching your back throughout the day.

Get Outside

Studies show that being outdoors and interacting with nature does lower stress levels, reduce anxiety, and enhance your mental and emotional wellbeing. Exercising outdoors is a great way to get the best of both worlds.

Popular outdoor activities to do during the fall include nature walks, running along forest trails, hiking in local areas, and recreational sports such as football, soccer, and basketball. Be mindful of your body and rest when necessary. If you have pre-existing medical conditions, we encourage you to consult with your doctor about healthy ways to exercise and increase movement.

At Home

Even if you don’t own a home gym, you can still exercise at home. There are many virtual classes or online exercise routines you can follow to help you exercise in the comfort of your home. Though it is recommended that adults get at least 30-60 minutes of exercise a day, don’t feel pressured to do it all at once. Even raking the leaves outside can contribute to your daily movement!

Regular exercise reduces the stress on your ligaments and joints minimizing the chance of injury, muscle strain, and muscular pain. This month, though we are encouraging patients to get out and move, it is important to note there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to exercise so take time to find the right combination of activities that work for you. Remember, the key is to sit less and move more so that you can live a healthy life. We are here to help you get a head start on better health and wellness by getting you moving. For more information on our chiropractic services and how we can help you or to schedule an appointment, contact Tuck Chiropractic today.

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Treating Sacroiliitis with Chiropractic Care

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Treating Sacroiliitis with Chiropractic CareLower back pain is one of the most common complaints we diagnose and treat as chiropractors. A cause of low back pain that can be easily missed is sacroiliitis! This month we’d like to show how chiropractic care can help to alleviate pain and restore function and mobility to those diagnosed with sacroiliitis.

What is Sacroiliitis?

Sacroiliitis refers to inflammation of one or both sacroiliac joints also known as SI joints. These sacroiliac joints connect the lower part of your spine (sacrum) to your pelvis. Anytime you take a step, lift your leg, extend, or move your legs, you utilize your sacroiliac joints.

Causes

There are a variety of factors that can increase a person’s risk for developing sacroiliitis, including:

  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Infection
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pregnancy
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Traumatic injury

Symptoms

The pain associated with sacroiliitis stems from inflammation and irritation of the sacroiliac joint. Symptoms include:

  • Pain in the lower back, hips, buttocks, legs, and feet
  • Pain that worsens have after periods of standing or sitting
  • Pain felt with weight-bearing activities
  • Stiffness in the hips and lower back

In cases of infection, fever may also be a symptom of sacroiliitis.

Can We Help?

As chiropractors, we pride ourselves on utilizing your body’s healing processes to relieve pain that stems from joint inflammation, dysfunction, and misalignment. During your consultation, we will evaluate your symptoms, conduct a physical exam, and perform any necessary tests to determine which treatment options will be ideal for your condition and lifestyle.

We specialize in a variety of non-surgical treatment methods for sacroiliitis, including:

  • Chiropractic Adjustment- If a misalignment is the cause of your condition, manual or machine-assisted chiropractic adjustments can help to realign joints causing pressure and pain within your body.
  • Heat and Ice Therapy- Using heating packs can help stimulate strong circulation in the area which will supply the joint with much-needed healing and pain relief nutrients. Ice or cold packs will reduce swelling and inflammation to alleviate pain.
  • Rest- Rest allows your body time to heal from activities that may worsen your condition while also reducing inflammation.
  • Therapeutic Massage- Massage is a direct method of relaxing tight muscles which also increases blood flow to the area and assists in muscle and soft tissue healing and recovery.
  • Physical Therapy- We can recommend exercises and stretches that will strengthen your muscles and joints, keep your body flexible, and restore your range of motion while reducing swelling and pain.

During your consultation, we will conduct a variety of tests to determine your diagnosis and work with you to tailor your treatment to your unique needs and goals. If you believe you are suffering from sacroiliitis or would like to schedule an appointment, contact Tuck Clinic today.

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Our Back To School Tips

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Our Back To School TipsIt’s that time of year! Whether you are preparing a child for the upcoming school year or yourself, sitting at a desk all day, being hunched over a computer, or craning your neck while doing homework–school can put a strain on your body. Here are some chiropractic tips to help make this back-to-school season a happy and healthy one.

Ouch! Back To School Pain

Back pain is a common complaint in our office from adults, but in recent years it has also become a common concern for many children and teenagers. The influx in cases has recently been connected to the use of heavily packed backpacks and spending hours looking at a computer or hand-held device during the school year.

Backpacks have long been a health concern as carrying an overweight bag improperly can create several concerning health conditions such as poor posture, muscle strain, joint pain, and headaches. The common use of technology with computers, tablets, and phones can also impact your spinal health as it causes you to crane your neck and put pressure on your neck, shoulders, and upper back.

Wearing Your Backpack Right

No one wants to carry a heavy backpack every day but choosing the right bag and carrying it properly can help you avoid pain and injury. It is not unheard of for patients to experience upper shoulder pain, low back pain, neck pain, and even headaches from an improperly worn or heavy backpack.

Be sure to purchase a bag that has a padded back and wide, padded adjustable straps that will help prevent the weight from digging into pressure points. Though it may look cool to sling a backpack over one shoulder or to use a messenger style back, wearing both straps on your shoulders will evenly distribute the weight across your body to prevent muscle strain and fatigue. If your bag has a waist strap, using it can help to reduce the chance of back pain. Though a smaller backpack may seem appealing for your profile, your backpack should be proportionate to your body. The top of the bag shouldn’t be higher than your shoulders and the bottom should be above your hips.

Pack your bag strategically with the heaviest items close to the body and make use of the pockets with lighter and smaller items. Be mindful of the weight of your bag as well, it should not be more than 10% of your body. Heavy bags not only can be painful to carry but also cause you to lean forward and increase your risk for rounded hunched shoulders and affect the curvature of your spine.

Adjust Your Posture

It is no myth that our increasing dependence on technology has affected our day-to-day lives–but it also affects our posture. More patients are reporting wrist pain, shoulder pain, and neck pain. When you bend your neck to look downward, every inch can put 10 additional pounds on your neck, so it’s no surprise that people complain of neck pain or tense shoulders and upper back strain.

We recommend limiting your technology usage with a 15-minute break every hour, stretching regularly, and allowing your eyes to relax. Bring any mobile devices to eye level and adjust computer monitors so that you can sit up straight with your chest out and shoulders back comfortably with both feet on the ground. While you read, be sure to keep your head over your neck and shoulders and rest your back against the chair.

Stretch Regularly

Before engaging in any strenuous activity, remember to warm up and stretch for at least 15 minutes to allow your body to become more limber and reduce your risk of muscle strain. Don’t forget to cool down afterward as well!

You can even learn some seated stretches to help relieve tension and aches while seated in class.

Sleep Better

Remember sleep is your body’s time to heal and repair from the day-to-day stresses of life. Adults need around 7-8 hours of sleep each night, and children need even more. Getting a consistent good night’s rest can help lower stress levels, ease chronic inflammation, and allow your body to rejuvenate.

For better sleep, we recommend avoiding exercising, caffeine, and electronics at least an hour before bed to allow your eyes and mind to wind down. Darken the room and lower the temperature to create a restful environment, some patients may even use a white noise machine to block out any distractions. Making a sleep schedule that tells you when to wake up and get ready for bed can also help your body to establish a routine so that you can function at your best.

For more information on how to keep your back healthy during this school year or to schedule an appointment, contact Tuck Chiropractic today.

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