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Three Benefits of Cold Therapy

woman holding knee in pain after exerciseCold therapy, or cryotherapy, is the practice of applying something cold to the source of pain. From everyday muscle recovery to targeted pain relief, here are some of the health benefits that cold therapy can offer.

Post-surgery recovery
Cold therapy can reduce pain by controlling swelling and inflammation in the affected area. This is why many doctors recommend this method of pain therapy for post-surgical rehabilitation. It can help patients recover after soft tissue trauma at a much faster rate.

Post-exercise muscle repair
Many athletes use cold treatment to aid in the repair and recharging of muscle tissue, thus allowing them to prepare sooner for their next training session. When incorporated regularly into a post-workout routine, cold therapy will not only reduce recovery times, but can also aid in improving performance going forward.

Chronic pain treatment
If you suffer from a chronic pain condition, such as arthritis, sciatica or Fibromyalgia, consider talking with your doctor about incorporating cold therapy into your pain management routine. While many doctors suggest surgery as the only solution to chronic pain, our team of chiropractors believes this sciatica treatment in Brandon, FL, is one of the several nonsurgical therapies available to help you live comfortably.

What is Fibromyalgia?

holding shoulder in painFibromyalgia is a common, yet complex chronic pain disorder that causes widespread pain and tenderness to touch. It is thought to be the result of overactive nerves in the body. The pain can be felt all throughout the body, but many people with the condition feel their discomfort in specific areas, such as the neck or shoulders. While pain from Fibromyalgia is different than the pain you may experience from a headache or sprain, it is just as real. The pain has been described by patients in a variety of ways, such as burning, aching, stiffness or soreness.

In addition to pain-related symptoms, those living with Fibromyalgia often experience fatigue, disturbed sleep, difficulty concentrating, poor memory, headaches, depression, and anxiety.

The exact cause of Fibromyalgia is unknown, and there is no cure. However, more and more patients are experiencing relief with deep tissue laser therapy. This laser treatment for pain in Brandon, FL, uses LightForce™ lasers to reduce inflammation and eliminate pain and restore the body to normal function. With a treatment that lasts only 5 to 10 minutes, these high-power lasers deliver a lot of energy in a small amount of time, making them a top option for busy patients.

 

 

Are You Sitting Too Much? How to Stay Active at the Office

seated office employee on phoneIf you’re like most office workers, you spend the majority of your workday seated at a desk. However, a recent health study revealed that sitting too much is one of the worst things we can do for our health. Chiropractors in Seffner, FL, know that those with sedentary lifestyles are more susceptible to obesity, diabetes, and even heart disease. Consider the following tips to help incorporate movement into your day.

Set a Reminder to Move
Set a reminder on your email calendar or phone to get up, move around, and stretch every hour. Use this time to grab water or go for a quick walk throughout the building.

Change Your Routine
If you need to speak with a coworker, walk to their office or desk instead of using phone or email. Try parking further away from the entrance, and get in the habit of using the stairwell instead of the elevator. If you normally eat at your desk, use lunchtime as an opportunity to walk to the cafeteria or a nearby lunch spot.

Track Your Steps
FitBits, Apple Watches, and the like are all equipped with step counters. Set your goal and stick to it! If you don’t own one of these activity trackers, a simple pedometer will do.

Pace When Possible
Phone calls and conference meetings don’t always have to be sitting activities. There’s no need to sit while talking, and moving around may even help with stimulating ideas.

Four Ways Physical Therapy Can Keep You Healthy

health care aid helping a patientWhen it comes to physical therapy in Valrico, FL, patients rely on treatment to build strength and recover from surgery or injuries. During the process, most people also find an improvement in their overall health and quality of life. Here are just a few of the ways physical therapy can contribute to happiness and health.

Reducing Pain
While medically necessary, certain surgeries or other invasive procedures can result in pain during the recovery process. Pain can also arise from a sports injury, or you may be experiencing whiplash following a car accident. With car accident physical therapy in Bradenton, FL, the therapeutic exercises can help relieve pain and improve your mobility by restoring muscle and joint function.

Improving Balance
If you are susceptible to falling, physical therapy can provide a way to safely challenge your balance so you can be more prepared for real-life situations. A physical therapist can work with you on exercises that help improve balance, as well as maneuvers to help dizziness or vertigo.

Faster Healing
By promoting strength, increasing circulation, and stimulating tissue growth, physical therapy can help lessen recovery time after surgery or an injury.

Managing Age-Related Conditions
Arthritis and osteoporosis are common conditions that come with age. Physical therapy has been proven to help manage symptoms by relieving stiffness and stimulating stronger bones.

Bulging Discs vs. Herniated Discs

doctor and patient observing spinal x-rayWhile bulging discs and herniated discs are two of the most common spine issues that people face, it can be difficult to understand what exactly they are and the differences between them. To help you understand your condition and how to address it, the following is an overview of the differences between these common spine issues.

About Spinal Discs
The spine is made up of segments called vertebrae, and each segment is separated by a spinal disc. Spinal discs are soft shock absorbers that protect the spinal cord and allow the spine to be flexible. As we age, spinal discs tend to dehydrate and become stiff.

What is a Bulging Disc?
Spinal discs consist of a jelly-like portion and a protective outer layer. When the walls of the outer layer (known as the annulus) become weaker, it can cause a portion of the disc to bulge into the spinal canal. It can be imagined as a hamburger that is too large for its bun.

What is a Herniated Disc?
When the soft inner layer of a spinal disc (known as the nucleus pulposus) displaces beyond the normal borders of the disc in a localized region, this forms a herniated disc. Unlike a bulging disc, the displaced material from the inner layer doesn’t exceed more than 25% of the overall disc’s circumference.

For bulging or herniated discs, nonsurgical spinal decompression in Brandon, FL may be the treatment for you. Call us today at 813-689-1883 to learn more about your options.

Can Chiropractic Care Help Asthma Sufferers?

chiropractor working with female patientAccording to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, about one in 12 people suffer from asthma. While traditional treatments like prescription medications and inhalers are common, chiropractic care could also be considered a viable option.

What is asthma?
Asthma is a chronic lung condition that inflames and narrows the airways. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing and tightness in the chest. Asthma attacks can be fatal.

Can chiropractic care help asthma?
While chiropractors do not treat asthma, they do observe how the entire body functions in relation to the health of the spine. If a patient is suffering from an ailment or condition, a chiropractor will look at how the spine may be associated. In the case of a patient with asthma, a chiropractor can analyze and adjust the thoracic spinal segments. When the thoracic spine (the region from the base of the neck to the abdomen) is misaligned or not moving through its full range of motion, it can prevent the lungs from expanding fully with inhalation.

The bottom line
Because asthma is such a widespread disease, it is important to look at all the treatment options, as some individuals respond better to certain methods. Visiting a chiropractor in Valrico, FL is a non-invasive option for patients who have either tried other unsuccessful routes, or patients who are looking for alternatives to medications.

The Curvatures of the Spine

diagram of spinal column curvatureYour spine is made up of small bones, called vertebrae, which are stacked on top of one another in order to create the natural curves of your back. While a normal spinal column appears vertically straight if viewed from the rear, it should almost resemble a soft ‘S’ shape when viewed from the side. The natural curves of the spine that contribute to its shape are the cervical curve, thoracic curve, and lumbar curve.

The cervical curve is composed of seven small vertebrae that begin at the base of your skull and end at the upper chest. The thoracic spine is made up of twelve vertebrae that go from the upper chest to the middle back. The lumbar vertebra consists of five larger vertebrae.

The spine’s natural curves are important to our ability to balance and stand upright. If any of the curves become too large or small, posture may appear abnormal and it could be difficult to stand up straight. Spinal deformities (abnormal curvatures of the spine) include kyphosis of the thoracic spine (“hunchback”), lordosis of the lumbar spine (“swayback”), and scoliosis, a sideways curvature of the spine. In the presence of a spinal deformity, non-operative treatments such as physical therapy in Brandon, FL, or braces are recommended.

 

What is Frozen Shoulder?

woman holding shoulder in painFrozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a common condition in which the shoulder stiffens, thus reducing its mobility. While frozen shoulder is often mistaken for arthritis, these conditions are unrelated.

Your shoulder is composed of three bones that form a ball-and-socket joint. These bones are your upper arm (humerus), shoulder blade (scapula), and collarbone (clavicle). Holding everything together is the shoulder capsule, which is the tissue that surrounds your shoulder joint. When the capsule becomes so thick and tight that it’s hard to move, this is known as frozen shoulder. Bands of scar tissue form, and there’s less of the liquid formed that keeps the joint lubricated (synovial fluid). With this, motion is limited even more.

A person with a frozen shoulder will have a consistently painful and stiff shoulder joint. The pain may worsen at night, making it difficult to sleep. Frozen shoulder typically affects people between 40 and 60 years old.

Frequent and gentle exercise can prevent and possibly reverse shoulder stiffness. The American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons suggests the crossover arm stretch: Hold the upper arm of the affected side, gently pull the arm across in front of you, and hold for thirty seconds. Relax and repeat. If pain and immobility persist, contact a licensed chiropractor in Seffner, FL.

Simple Ways to Improve Your Posture

Many of us slouch because the muscles that work to hold the joint in place are imbalanced. However, constant slouching can cause issues such as back pain, headaches, as well as problems with breathing and digestion. Here a few tips from our chiropractors in Seffner, FL, to improve poor posture so you can improve both your health and confidence.

Look in the Mirror
It’s not always easy to tell if your posture is correct. To see how you hold yourself up when you stand and walk, use a mirror. While you observe, make sure that your torso is straight and your shoulders aren’t hunched.

Keep Your Ears and Shoulders in Line
When you are sitting for long periods of time, it is inevitable that you will eventually lean too far forward or backward. Repositioning your sitting position so that your ears are in line with your shoulders will help correct your posture, and ensure that your neck and back are in perfect alignment. To ensure your shoulders are aligned as well, make sure to draw them back and down. This will keep your chest up and out, helping to prevent rounded shoulders.

Go for a Walk
Many office workers have back pain because sitting all day places pressure on your spine and hips. Take walks during break time, or visit your coworker at her desk rather than calling her. If possible, try to walk around at least once an hour. It’s advisable to stretch daily as well, as this keeps muscles flexible for good posture.

The Location of Your Knee Pain Symptoms

If you’re suffering from knee pain that is severe or has persisted more than a few weeks, you should see a chiropractor or physical therapist. However, the location of your knee pain can help you determine the issue before starting physical therapy in Valrico, FL.

If you feel pain in the front of the knee, there may be a problem with the tracking and position of the kneecap. When this occurs, the tendon between the kneecap and the shin may become inflamed and painful.

Pain in the back of the knee is rare, but is likely due to a hamstring strain or what is known as a Baker’s cyst. This is an abnormal swelling of the knee joint that occupies space in the back of the knee.

If you have pain on the inside portion of the knee, there is likely an injury to the medial meniscus or medial collateral ligament. The medial meniscus is a shock absorber located inside the knee, and it often suffers from wear and tear or arthritis. These structures are usually damaged as a result of a sports injury.

Finally, pain on the outside aspect of your knee can mean that a ligament there was injured during athletic activity. Pain here can also be caused by iliotibial band (ITB) stress, which is a thick band of tissue that runs from the outside of your hip to the front of your knee. On the outside part of the knee is also one of three hamstring tendons, so strain to this may also be a source of pain.