Top Trails In Southwest Virginia

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At Tuck Clinic, we’re all about goal setting with our patients because beyond pain relief, we’re hoping to help people live the lifestyle that they want. This could mean being able to pick up their child after a long period of back pain that kept them from doing so. Or it could mean they get to hike back to the top of the mountain they haven’t hiked in 3 years due to joint pain. Whatever that goal is, we’re determined to help you get there.
For those who are looking to get back into hiking, or try it for the first time, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most breathtaking views in Southwest Virginia. These trails are all varying in difficulty for everyone to enjoy!

1. Cascades National Recreation Trail

The Cascades boasts a beautiful waterfall at the end of a easy to moderate 4 mile loop just outside of Blacksburg, Virginia. Get lost in the sound of steady streams of rushing water on this kid friendly hike.

2. Dragon’s Tooth

Dragon’s Tooth may sounds like an intimidating name, but the Catawba, Virginia hike is actually quite lovely. Just about 5.7 miles round trip, this hike may be considered difficult to brand new hikers but usually is about moderate. The sharp “tooth” like rocks at the summit are quite breathtaking.

3. McAfee’s Knob

This hike is perhaps the most picturesque hike in Southwest Virginia. Located in Catawba, Virginia, McAfee’s Knob is a moderate hike is about 8 miles round trip making it the longest on our list. Even though you can expect to spend a little longer on this hike, the top of the valley views are worth the wait.
Do you have a favorite fall trail? Let us know what we missed!

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Chiropractic Care As A Family Affair

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When most people think of their ‘go-to’ family doctor, the first thing that often comes to mind is a general physician or pediatrician to go see when an illness pops up. When you feel a cold take a turn for the worst, you often call in for an appointment to get some antibiotics. Or maybe you take your little ones there to find a solution for an ear infection. On the contrary, Megan Sawyers’ family calls Dr. Grace at Tuck Chiropractic Clinic in Rocky Mount, VA for situations like these.

From Migraine Relief to a Lifetime of Wellness

About a decade ago, Megan Sawyers had recently relocated to Franklin County and was in search of someone to help her find relief from her recurring migraines. When she asked around, she got a lot of recommendations for Tuck Chiropractic Clinic. What started as a simple visit for a migraine quickly became a longstanding relationship for the overall wellness of her entire family of five.
After a quick X-ray and her first spinal adjustment, Megan really began to see the benefits of chiropractic care. Not only was her head pain relieved, but she was also receiving adjustments that also helped her back and neck feel better. After building a relationship with Dr. Grace and telling her about her troubles with her infant son’s ear infections, Dr. Grace invited her to bring him in for his very first adjustment.
“In my opinion, those adjustments saved him from having to get tubes put in his ears,” Megan recalls the fast relief her son found from his treatment.
Pediatric Chiropractic care is something that Dr. Grace and Megan are very passionate about. Research suggests that chiropractic may be able to help children with health problems that aren’t necessarily musculoskeletal in nature, such as colic and ear infections. Megan believes her children are living proof.
After bringing her son for more sessions with Dr. Grace and continuing her own wellness and maintenance program, she decided to bring her other children to see Dr. Grace from birth. She’s very proud to say that her daughter, who is nine years old, has only ever received one round of antibiotics in her life. She believes that her chiropractic care, combined with the right healthy habits has kept her family happy and healthy.

Becoming an Advocate for Wellness Care

As someone who works in the public school systems, Megan has the unique opportunity to talk to parents and fellow teachers about her experiences at Tuck Chiropractic Clinic. She jokes that she tells anyone who will listen about her experience.
“It completely changed my viewpoint of the entire medical field. I bring my children to the chiropractor instead of a medical doctor because I know that an adjustment can provide real benefits to their health,” says Megan. “It’s a totally different outlook on how to treat your bodies for everything.”
Because chiropractic care takes a non-invasive, non-medicated approach to health and wellness, the body is able to be treated as a whole instead of targeting just the symptoms. With a deep understanding of how the musculoskeletal system can affect the rest of the body, chiropractors are able to provide a well-rounded care program that both relieves pain and encourages healthier living through diet and exercise.
Over the past ten years, Megan Sawyers and her family have witnessed these benefits time and time again. But more than the chiropractic care they receive, they receive the care and attention of Dr. Grace, someone who is truly committed to the wellness of her patients. Though they only go in about once a month for their maintenance appointments, everyone at the office knows them by name and Dr. Grace will always ask how everyone is doing and tries to find any way she can help the Sawyers family live a happy, healthy life.

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Start Small To Win Big

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How to Be Consistent With Your Health and Fitness

Sometimes it’s seemingly little things that make the biggest difference. Here are some small changes to your regular routine that, if you implement them, may help you accomplish your larger health goals.
Darren Hardy, author of The Compound Effect posits this simple formula for large-scale life change: “Small daily improvements are the key to staggering long-term results.” Hardy explains how working out for 10 to 20 minutes each day can be more effective than waiting for the two or three days a month hit the gym for a full hour or two, how using the drive-time of your daily commute to listen to inspiring and informative audio can quickly add up to the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree, how packing your lunch can lead to a hefty investment income, and other small steps that produce fantastic results when sustained over time.

Little Steps Lead to Big Strides

Step #1: Drink a full glass of water at each meal

Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD, Director of Nutrition for WebMD recommends regular water consumption for a variety of health benefits, including reducing your calorie consumption (by substituting water for sugary drinks like sweet tea or sodas), maintaining healthy skin, energizing your muscles, and flushing your kidneys (which reduces your risk for kidney stones). Making a full glass of water part of your meal routine can keep you more energized throughout the day, helping you to stay motivated to make other healthy choices.

Step #2: Make time for fun each week

Adding a little fun to your schedule can go a long way towards strengthening relationships, maintaining balance, and improving your overall satisfaction. Although it may not be easy, taking steps to add fun to your life is actually important. To start, try to clear your schedule at least one night a week, even if that means saying “no” to something you previously said “yes” to. Researchers Wilcox and Dew suggest that establishing a regular weekly or biweekly date night can have significant positive effects on marital or relational health due to increased communication, building trust, and creating positive memories together. Other ways to add fun to your schedule include making exercise fun by trying a new sport or joining a dance class, making time for a family dinner and game night, or just being silly – like hosting a murder mystery or going to see a comedy show. All of these encourage real “face time” with the people around you, a key to fighting feelings of isolation, loneliness, and melancholy.

Step #3: Get up from your desk and walk around at least once every 2 hours

In a more and more sedentary culture, sitting disease poses a real problem for many people. According to Jennifer K. Nelson, R.D., L.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D. of the Mayo Clinic, “50 to 70 percent of people spend six or more hours sitting per day” which can have several deleterious effects on our bodies. If you do work in a sedentary position and you drive or can’t arrange for an adjustable sit-stand desk, set a timer so that you take a break from your chair at least once every two hours. Not only will taking a stretch break reduce potential risk factors for back pain and other more serious conditions (like obesity and metabolic syndrome), it also can help increase your focus and productivity. A few easy ways to incorporate more walking are:

  • getting up to replenish your water bottle (which will probably result in more bathroom breaks – and more walking)
  • taking 15 minutes of your lunch break to walk
  • walking over to talk to someone instead of calling or sending an email.

Just a few simple changes to your workday routine can add up to better health and a decreased risk of some diseases associated with excessive sitting.

Step #4: Stop the sugary drinks

As much as you may feel like you “need” that latte in the morning to wake up or “have to have” your Mountain Dew or Diet Coke, these caffeine drips actually have the reverse effect in the long run because of the sugar or caffeine crash. Your body gets used to having “energy help” which can actually reduce your metabolism. Diet drinks are no better; the key to fueling your body well is to stay away from sugar spikes (especially those caused by refined sugar or artificial sweeteners) and to maintain a relatively steady glucose baseline.
A few alternative ways to perk up in the morning or afternoon include:

  • eating a cold, crisp apple (a natural source of caffeine)
  • having a banana to raise your blood sugar when it dips in the mid to late afternoon (2 to 4 pm)
  • reducing your carbs and replacing with veggie snacks and/or healthy protein sources (in moderate quantities).

These changes will help your body find its natural rhythm rather than depending on external sources for the energy you need. Cutting down the sugar and caffeine could also help you sleep more soundly, giving you more energy throughout the day. Be forewarned, though, cutting out sugar and caffeine isn’t easy, especially if it’s been a long-standing habit. Ask for accountability and have natural alternatives (like your apple) available for when cravings make it tough to stand your ground.

Step #5: Get regular chiropractic adjustments

Routine chiropractic can be another small step toward a healthy lifestyle. Many patients may initially come in for help with a specific issue and find that their pain is greatly relieved or eliminated in a relatively short period of time. However, many people also receive periodic spinal checkups, maintenance care, or wellness care, all of which can be very valuable as preventive measures. Receiving chiropractic care on a monthly or bimonthly basis can help you feel better by reducing pressure on nerves and improving range of motion. So, even if you aren’t suffering from any acute pain or chronic conditions, getting adjusted can still help you stay healthy and pain-free and keep you more limber and flexible.

The Bigger Picture

Changes, whether small or large, are often difficult to make. It is easy to give into the seemingly urgent demands of the moment without looking at the importance of the bigger picture. Saying “no” to Jimmy’s second sport of the season for date night or family time won’t be easy. Choosing water and an apple instead of a sports drink or diet coke could be tough to get used to at first, but in the long run, those small steps will carry you further than you thought you could go.

We’re Here To Help

As you work toward your personal goals this year, we’re here to help. Our doctors are committed to working with you to achieve your health goals one step at a time. Visit one of our 11 locations for a consultation to help you lay a foundation for personal success.

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Putting a Spring in Your Step with Chiropractic

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Chiropractic care
Whether you’re chasing your grandchildren around the playground or chasing an Olympic gold, there’s nothing like feeling great so you can enjoy the activities that bring meaning to your life.
But sometimes, life’s aches and pains stand in the way. What then?
Athletes know the benefits offered by chiropractic: All NFL teams have an official chiropractor, and more than 50% of NCAA athletes choose alternative therapy — including chiropractic — to stay on top of their games.
What about your game? Whether it’s golf or tennis, or just taking a stroll in the park on a beautiful spring morning, is your body ready?

Winning Form

You don’t have to play golf or softball to see how the back, joints, and muscles coordinate to swing a club or bat. Chiropractors use spinal manipulation, or adjustment, to relieve pressure on joints and improve nerve function. They can also advise you on diet and exercise to maintain optimal health.
Even in people without symptoms, research has found that manipulation therapy increased joint motion and increased muscle strength. Here are some other examples of how chiropractic can help you but a spring in your step:

  • The New Zealand College of Chiropractic’s Centre for Chiropractic Research found that spinal manipulation may prevent fatigue and boost muscle function.
  • A similar study of 40 South African soccer players found that lumbar and sacroiliac joint manipulation increased kicking speed, and range of motion in lumbar extension, right rotation, and SI joint angular motions.
  • Another published report found that a full range of treatment, including soft tissue therapy (massage) and manipulation, can assist with rotator cuff injuries.
  • A study of various approaches showed that manipulation of the neck area produced increased flexibility at the hip.

Getting off to a Good Start

When you first get back into an active, outdoor lifestyle, overdoing it can lead to back and neck pain, and reduced mobility. Whether these come from months of cold weather, too much time in the easy chair, or taking on too much at once, a chiropractor can recommend a wide range of options including adjustment, exercise, and diet to get you and keep you healthy and active. Here are some common complaints, and how chiropractic can help.
Back Pain
If you don’t even want to lift your clubs or tennis racket, you’re not ready to play. Of the 22 million chiropractor visits annually, 7.7 million, or 35%, are from patients seeking relief from back pain, which can be caused by wear and tear, poor posture, diet, or lack of exercise. Studies published by the National Institutes of Health found strong evidence for the efficacy of manual treatment. Patients with acute pain showed strong evidence of improvement when compared to placebo treatment for pain, function, and health improvements. For chronic pain sufferers, there was moderate to strong evidence in favor of chiropractic compared with placebo treatment for pain, function and overall health.
Neck Pain
Neck pain is another leading complaint. Studies demonstrate that cervical manipulation increases active range of motion and decreases pain in patients with neck issues. All these improvements were maintained at 6-month follow-ups. One study showed that manipulation was 1.5 times more effective in reducing neck pain than massage-style mobilization therapy. Those receiving chiropractic care demonstrated a significant increase in joint flexibility over the group receiving other treatment.
Headache
Chronic headaches can keep you inside and in the dark, and poor posture — the same problem that can lead to backache — can contribute to frequent tension headaches. One study found that in the long run, one month of chiropractic care (approximately 2 visits per week) was more effective than a commonly prescribed drug for the condition.
Other Conditions
A host of other conditions — even constipation, which might keep you indoors — can improve with proper treatment from a chiropractor. Chiropractic adjustments can remove blockages in the nervous system that are preventing the proper function of your body, slowing you down and keeping you planted on the couch. Getting your body in shape can help alleviate dizziness, tinnitus, osteoarthritis, stuffy ears, and numerous other symptoms.

Time to Get Moving!

Don’t let aches and pains keep you indoors when the sunshine is calling you outside. And as you head out the door with the clubs slung over your back, consider how much better your swing will be if your body is in perfect mechanical balance. You wouldn’t take off on a road trip without having your car checked out. Give your body the same essential tune-up with a visit to Tuck Chiropractic Clinic.
Want more tips about staying active and fit this spring? Stay tuned to our blog in April for a fitness-themed month of posts!

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At-Home Self-Care Part 3: 3 Low Back Exercises to Stabilize Your Spine

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While some lower back pain can occur as a result of injury, some pain is simply a result of a sedentary lifestyle that leads to weakness of muscles surrounding the spine and supporting the body. When at-home stretching and strengthening exercises are paired with spinal manipulation therapy, patients can experience further relief from pain and strengthening and prevent in the long term.
In part three of our spinal self-care series, we’re going to share three helpful exercises that allow you to improve your range of motion, reduce pain, and stabilize your spine. After an injury and initial adjustment, it’s important to slowly build up your injured muscles to protect your spine prior to trying more difficult strengthening exercises. By building a foundation, you’re creating the support your spine needs to begin strengthening and continue to be aligned.
Here’s Dr. Delaney McMann of our Bedford Clinic to talk through these three exercises:

1. Belly Breathing

Deep, purposeful belly breathing may not sound like the exercise you’d expect to use for strengthening, but it’s a key step toward building a core that can support your spine properly. During a deep belly breath, your diaphragm is expanded with the help of your abdominal muscles. The longer and deeper your breathing becomes, the harder your abdominal muscles will be working and strengthening.
For this exercise, lay flat on your back with one hand on your chest and one hand on your belly. Make sure as you breathe in that your chest does not rise fully. Only breathe into your belly. The goal is to work up to a 12 second inhale, but starting small is always best. Repeat 5 times per day.

2. Pelvic Tilt

While laying on your back, bend your knees and place your feet comfortably on the ground. Making sure your low back remains on the floor, and tilt your pelvis up and in. You should feel the contraction of your muscles in your lower back. Hold for a belly breath, then relax.
Next, flatten your back, pushing it down towards the floor to close the space between your spine and the ground. You should feel the tightening in your abdominal muscles. Hold for 5 seconds, then relax. Repeat this exercise 20 times in the morning and 20 times in the evening.
You can also take this move on an exercise ball. With your legs at a right angle and your feet planted firmly on the ground. Use only your pelvis, keeping your knees still, to tilt forward and backward. You can also try to move your pelvis in a circular motion for added strengthening in your side abdomen.

3. Side Plank

While side planks can be challenging because it requires both strength and balance, working on these two elements combined is a great way to stabilize your muscles. Lay on your side with your lower forearm on the ground and your feet stacked together. Position your elbow directly below the shoulder to keep your body aligned properly.
From here, press into your bottom forearm and lift your pelvis off the ground, keeping your feet together. If you need more stability, try separating your feet or leaving your knees on the ground. Belly breathe while you hold your plank for 30 seconds.
Make sure you repeat this exercise on both sides for even strengthening. Though our muscles aren’t typically symmetrical in strength, it’s a good goal to work towards. Do this exercise 2-3 times daily.
Practicing these exercises daily will help to stabilize your muscles so that you can take on more complex strengthening exercises later in your treatment. These exercises will reduce the likelihood of re-injuring yourself and help you find further relief from lower back pain!
If you’re ready to take control of your spinal self-care, the doctors at Tuck Chiropractic would love to help you on your journey! Schedule an appointment today.
Stay tuned for the final installment of our spinal self-care series where we explore more complex strengthening exercises for your back!
 

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At-Home Self-Care Part 2: 5 Stretches to Loosen Lower Back Tension

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We’re continuing our spinal self-care series by talking about what to do after your first few adjustments! Stretching out tight muscles surrounding the spine is key to recovery and healing after an injury.

Inflammation often causes tightness in the muscles surrounding our spine. It’s your body’s way of attempting to protect itself from movements that could cause further damage. Without stretching, the body will tighten up more and more over time and will slow down the healing process. Here are six stretches you can do anywhere to loosen your muscles. The first three focus on your lumbar spine while the second set focuses on your sacrum.

1. Knee-to-Chest

While laying on your back, grab each leg behind the knee and pull them towards your chest. If you have difficulty reaching your legs, you can put a towel behind your knees to use to pull upward. This stretch can also be done one leg at a time. Hold for thirty seconds at a time.

You should feel this stretch in your lower back and glutes. If this stretch causes back pain to move into your legs or if you have existing sciatica pain, ask your doctor for an alternative.

2.  Seated Flexion

While sitting comfortable on a chair with your feet flat on the ground, lean forward so that your torso hangs between your legs. Allow your body to relax and let gravity pull you into a gentle stretch. Do not strain your back to force yourself forward and downward by pulling on your legs or chair. You should feel this stretch in your lower back and glutes. Hold for thirty seconds at a time.

3. Hamstring Stretch

While standing, place your heel on an elevated service at approximately knee height. Maintain a neutral or straight spine, avoiding arching your lower back. Bending at the hip, til your torso forward.

You can also take this stretch laying down on your back at a doorway or wall. Lift your leg up and rest the heel on the doorway or wall. You should feel this stretch in the back of your thigh and possibly behind your knee. Hold for 30 seconds on each leg.

4.Figure Four Stretch

While sitting in a chair, cross the ankle of the affected side to your opposite knee, creating a figure four. Lean forward slightly while keeping your back straight, bend at the hips rather than rounding your back.

You can also take this stretch on your back. After crossing the affected ankle over the opposite knee, grab the knee and pull it towards your chest. Hold gently for 30 seconds. You should feel this stretch in your gluteal region.

5. Hip Flexor Stretch

Stand in a split-stance or lung position with one foot placed on the ground behind you. Bend your front knee slightly until you feel a stretch in the back leg.

You can also take this stretch on your back on the edge of a bed. Allow your leg to hang off the side. Use your hands to pull the opposite leg towards your chest. You should feel this stretch in the front of your thigh and in the groin area.

As with any stretch or exercise, it’s important to not over exert yourself or you could injure yourself further. If you have trouble doing any of these stretches, talk with your chiropractor about alternatives. When paired with spinal manipulation therapy, icing, and strengthening exercises, these stretches can help you find relief for your lower back pain.

If you’re ready to take control of your spinal self-care, the doctors at Tuck Chiropractic would love to help you on your journey! Schedule an appointment today.

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5 Habits for Spinal Self Care

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As a chiropractic clinic, we believe in the power of keeping your spine healthy. With thousands of nerves connecting to your spinal cord and from your tail bone all the way to your brain, your back and spine are massive components in your nervous system, which transmits signals between your brain and different parts of the body.

Needless to say, if your spine isn’t in proper alignment, it can cause problems such as:

  • headaches
  • pain in lower back, neck, knees or hips
  • excessive fatigue
  • numbness or tingling in the hands or feet

If you feel like you’re experiencing these types of problems, it’s probably time for you to call a chiropractor. But if you’re in between visits or simply want to form good habits for a healthy spine, here are five habits that can help your spine feel great:

Stretch Out

One of the best ways to keep your spine healthy is to stretch every day. Simple stretching for 2 minutes a day can do wonders for your back and your whole body. Here are some simple ones to try, holding each pose for about 10 seconds.

  • Toe Touch – Bend forward and touch your toes (or as far down as you reasonably can reach)
  • Standing Quad Stretch – Stand straight and tall and pull your right foot up behind you and hold. Feel the stretch through the front of your leg. Switch.
  • Seated Twist – Sit on the floor with your legs extended straight in front of you. Bend your right knee, and reach over with your left arm to hug it. You can even place your left elbow on the outside of your right leg. Feel the stretch in your right glute and your back. Hold for 10 seconds and switch.

For more stretching ideas, check out this 10-minute daily stretching sequence from FitBit.

Exercise Often

If you sit in an office chair all day and then go home and sit on the couch to watch TV, you might notice your back feeling tight. Interestingly, rest isn’t always good for your back, and too much inactivity can cause muscle weakness that leads to strained muscles and pain. If your back is in good shape, exercise can help keep your back muscles limber and flexible. Look for exercises that engage your core. Strengthening your back and abdominal muscles will help keep your spine healthy and strong.

Sit and Stand Tall

Having improper posture can make it hard for your spine to stay in proper alignment because it increases the stress on the ligaments holding the joints of your spine together. Unfortunately, many of us have never had great posture, so our muscles aren’t accustomed to holding up our torsos correctly.

At your desk, sit all the way back in your chair and put a small cushion or even a rolled-up towel behind your lower-mid back. This is to support the natural bend in your spine. Make sure your knees are level with your hips or even a bit higher. Your feet should be able to rest flat on the floor. Make sure your arm rests are at the appropriate height so your shoulders stay low at the proper position.

When standing, keep your back straight as if someone was pulling your hair or you were balancing a bottle on your head. Tuck in your chin, and keep your shoulders back. Keep your hips directly below your torso. Over time, you should begin to notice a difference in your posture. Your spine will thank you!

Sleep Straight

We should all spend about 8 hours asleep every night, but if you’re sleeping in an unhealthy position for your spine, that means that you’re risking improper alignment for a third of each day.

If you sleep on your stomach, your spine is misaligned from your neck down. Try to sleep on your back, maybe with a pillow placed under your knees. The next best option is to sleep on your side; you can place the pillow between your knees.

Calm Down

If you’re experiencing back pain alongside anxiety, there may be good reason for that. Similar to poor posture, anxiety often causes your muscles to tense. Maybe you notice you’re holding your shoulders too high; alongside back pain, this type of physical stress can cause tension headaches.

Instead of allowing your anxiety to affect your back, treat the root issue. Practice simple breathing exercises like 4-7-8. Inhale for a count of 4 through your nose; hold it in for a count of 7; and exhale for a count of 8 through your mouth.

Keep your spine healthy and strong by practicing these five steps. If you want to jumpstart your results, see a chiropractor at Tuck Clinic for relief from back pain. You might not get it right away, but by building healthy habits, your spine is sure to thank you for it.

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At-Home Self-Care Part 1: 3 Ways to Control Inflammation

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Pain may sometimes feel like a difficult thing to overcome, but when you have the right resources to support you, the outcomes speak for themselves. We’re kicking off our spinal self-care series to empower our patients to take their treatments a step further at home. We can help you in the clinic, but at the end of the day, it’s up to you to create habits that help you heal. Let’s begin with exploring how to control inflammation.

When it comes to identifying the source of pain at its core, it’s often a result of inflammation. Inflammation is your body’s response to damaged cells, irritation and strain, and pathogens. When activated in the body tissues,  muscles and joints can experience swelling. Chronic inflammation can also result in wearing down of cartilage between your bones, causing long-term chronic pain.

One of the most important steps to reducing pain is controlling inflammation. Let’s talk about the three steps you can reduce pain at home.

1. Choose Ice Over Heat

While a heating pad may be the first thing you reach for when you experience pain because of the temporary relief it brings, heat can actually worsen your inflammation because it increases blood flow to the area. If you do choose to heat your back, you should always follow up with ice to dull the pain and reduce swelling.

When applying ice to an injured lower back, make sure the ice pack is wrapped in a thin towel to avoid direct skin contact. Apply ice for 20 minutes and take a 40 minute break before reapplying to avoid damaging your skin and keep the ice pack cool enough to be effective. Ice is most effective in the first 72 hours after an injury, but can also provide relief of soreness after a treatment or physical activity.

2. Modify your Activity Levels

It’s likely you know what strains your back and what doesn’t. Whenever possible, avoid or modify activities that are known to increase your pain. Try not to spend too much time sitting or standing and avoid lifting. If you’re unsure about what to avoid, your chiropractor can give you tips.

Bedrest can be tempting when you’re experiencing chronic pain, but laying around can lead to improper positioning of your  back. While it may provide temporary relief, avoiding movement can continue to weaken your back and lead to an extended healing process.

3. Consider Active Rest

Active rest” may sound like a confusing concept, but balancing your rest with light activity is the key to recovery. Consider limiting high impact movements and exercises that could worsen your injury. Rest is important, but some maintaining some amount of exercise is necessary to help things return to normal.

Low impact aerobic exercises and stretching are great ways to release pain-killing endorphins and pump nutrients into injured tissues. Low impact exercises include swimming, using an elliptical or stationery bike, or walking. If you find that your back is still feeling strained after these activities, try to find something new.

We’ll talk more about therapeutic stretches and exercises that can help you strengthen your muscles on your own time later in this at-home self-care series. These methods, paired with regular chiropractic adjustments can have you well on your way to healing and living a better life.

If you’re ready to take control of your spinal self-care, the doctors at Tuck Chiropractic would love to help you on your journey! Schedule an appointment today.

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How to Avoid Injury When Reviving your Workout Routine

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New Year, New You, Right?

It’s a common refrain every January. “This year,” many say, “I’m going to be more physically active.” In fact, according to a survey conducted by NPR and the Marist Poll, 13% of adults who made a New Year’s resolution resolved to work out more, making it the most common resolution.

And truthfully, it’s a great goal to shoot for. Increasing your physical fitness is one of the easiest and best ways to boost your overall health, especially for your heart and muscles.

However, many people sabotage themselves by working out too hard or too long when they’re just starting out. Overexerting your muscles and joints can lead to injury, especially in the early stages of a workout routine when your body isn’t used to the activity.

This year, keep up your workout routine by preventing injuries through these 5 simple steps:

Discuss your resolution with your doctor

As much as you’d like to not admit it, you’re probably not as nimble as you used to be. As we age even into our 20s and 30s, it’s common for our muscles and joints to be sore after a sudden increase in physical activity. For some people, that soreness is natural. For others, especially women over 55 years old and men over 45 years old, it’s a good idea to discuss your new workout routine with your doctor. Your doctor can rule out any eventual problems so you can move confidently toward a more active future.

Be reasonable

It can be tempting to overreach and imagine yourself transforming back into the star athlete you were in high school. But after not working out for a long time, it can be dangerous to expect too much from your body too quickly. Instead, opt for a workout routine that makes sense for you. If your knee tends to hurt, choose a low-impact option that keeps your knees healthy but strong.

Limber up

You might remember stretching before gym class. Turns out, that’s not just to fill up the class period. It’s good to stretch your muscles before exerting them because cold and tight muscles are more likely to get injured. However, how we grew up stretching (holding one position for 10-15 seconds) isn’t considered the best for your muscles. Now fitness experts recommend doing dynamic stretches where you stretch your muscles through movement.

In the same way, it’s smart to gently stretch and cool down your muscles after working out. This keeps your tired muscles from tightening up and can help reduce soreness.

Variety is the spice of life

Exerting the same muscles in a workout day after day can cause undue strain on particular muscles and joints while leaving others relatively untouched. If you tend to workout your arms everyday, instead add in core and leg exercises to keep your whole body strong. Or get out of the gym entirely and go for a hike or a bike ride. Doing various types of physical activity helps prevent overuse injury and keeps you from getting bored with the same workout routine.

Know your body

We all know that working out isn’t a pain-free experience. Your muscles ache when you’re pushing yourself, and in many cases, you should push yourself through a reasonable amount of discomfort. As they say, “No pain, no gain.”

However, know your body well enough to know when you should stop or take a break. Sure, exercise can cause pain, but be sure that you’re not injuring yourself by pushing yourself too much.

Live Stronger

If you’re beginning a new workout routine and are experiencing joint or back pain, the chiropractors at Tuck Clinic can help you determine the problem and keep your spine in alignment so you can safely pursue your dreams of a more active lifestyle. Let the experts at Tuck help you feel better so you can live stronger.

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Patient Success Story: Phil Rice Tackles the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route

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“Well, the first thing I’m going to do is go see my chiropractor,” is the first thing Phil Rice said after biking 2,745 miles along the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route.

Phil Rice is an avid cyclist, cross fitter, and patient at Tuck Chiropractic in Roanoke. As an active person at the age of 56, Rice recognizes the important role chiropractic has played in his health and endurance. Prior to seeing Dr. Skinner at our Peters Creek Road clinic, he was a consistent chiropractic patient in Richmond for 5 years. After relocating to Roanoke, he heard that our practice was highly recommended, and the rest is history!

“I heard Dr. Skinner had a great understanding of caring for athletes,” says Rice.

When he first visited the clinic, Rice experienced tightness in his neck and shoulders and some lower back pain as a result of tightness in his hip flexors. His sedentary job combined with the strain that crossfit can put on your body had been causing this pain. Within two weeks he saw a significant difference in his discomfort and increase mobility.

“We know that a sedentary lifestyle can lead to back pain,” says Skinner. “Sitting and driving all week, and then going into crossfit-style work outs can cause issues. He’s in great shape to begin with so he responded very well to treatment.”

Preparing for the Grand Depart

In Spring of 2019, Rice shared with Dr. Skinner that he had set the goal to complete the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, traveling from Banff, Alberta, Canada to the United States/Mexico Border by mountain bike. It was a bucket list trip and Dr. Skinner was eager to help him prepare with a maintenance program.

“As the training volume increased, we essentially just wanted to keep Phil out of pain,” says Skinner. “We continued the same type of care by keeping his muscles stretched out and his joints mobile.”

Both Rice and Skinner attribute the successful treatment experience to Dr. Skinner’s own experience as an athlete, paired with his expertise in patient-centered chiropractic care. His full understanding of the human body and how it reacts to stressors from certain workouts enabled him to pin point the issues and provide non-invasive treatments at the source of the pain. Through open communication about what kind of strain Rice had been experiencing from workouts week to week, Skinner was able to adjust treatments accordingly.

“It also helped me on my training journey while I was doing crossfit and cycling because Dr. Skinner was able to keep me in line and adjusting my own workouts until an injury was worked through,” says Rice. “His understanding of what I was doing provided me with significant peace of mind.”

Rice completed the entire 2,745 miles along the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route in 38 days with no pain or injury, thanks to his preparation and treatment with Tuck Chiropractic.

“It’s rewarding to hear that. We work hard at trying to make people feel better and when they come in and tell us those kinds of thing, it puts a little extra pep in our step,” says Skinner.

Rice feels like he has a true partner in his health and personal fitness goals and plan to continue striking off his bucket list and seeing Dr. Skinner. He participates in cycling events to raise money for research on illnesses like multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, and cancer.

If you have a goal to maintain an active lifestyle or simply want to find relief from pain, we’re here to help. Find a clinic convenient to you or call 540-951-6900 to feel better and live better today!

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