Five Essential Morning Stretches to Start Your Day

woman doing morning stretches outdoorsIf your muscles always feel tight, achy or weak, you are likely someone who skips out on doing regular stretches. To help relieve tension and even safeguard your body from injury, consider making the following stretch exercises part of your morning routine.

Neck Mobility Stretch
While sitting with your legs together, rotate your neck in a circle, imagining your ears are touching your shoulders. Rotate slowly five times in each direction.

Upward Stretch
Raise your arms upward while lacing your fingers together, palms facing forward. Elongate your spine and feel the stretch throughout your torso and arms. Hold for ten seconds.

Spinal Twist
Keeping your legs forward and in place, turn your upper body to the right while placing your right hand behind you for stability. To push yourself further into the stretch, place your left hand on the outside of your right thigh. Hold for ten seconds and repeat on the other side.

Quad Stretch
While standing, bend your right knee up and hold your ankle with your right hand while holding onto something stable with the other. Hold for fifteen seconds before repeating on the left side.

Lumbar Stretch
Keeping your knees straight, bend over and touch your toes. Hold for a count of ten, and repeat five times.

Are you experiencing constant discomfort? With various forms of physical therapy in Valrico, FL, our physicians can help provide the relief you need to live without pain. Schedule a consultation today.

What to Expect with Deep Tissue Laser Therapy

woman receiving laser therapy for painWhat to Expect with Deep Tissue Laser TherapyAt Brandon Chiropractic Associates, we offer one of the most effective options in the industry to help address pain. Deep tissue laser therapy, performed at our practice with the use of LightForce™ lasers, has been providing effective pain relief for endless patients in the Brandon, Valrico, and East Tampa area. Here are some things to expect when you schedule an appointment for laser treatment at our clinic.

Some precautions
There are a few precautions that must be mentioned regarding laser therapy. Your doctor will be providing you with eye protection, as it will be required for both of you during the session. Laser therapy should also not be performed over pacemakers, malignancies, spinal stimulators, or the midsection of pregnant women.

A quick session
Your laser therapy session will likely last under ten minutes. There is also no recovery period after a session, so you can return straight to your regular activities after receiving laser treatment for pain in Brandon, FL.

No discomfort
A common question we receive concerning laser therapy is, “What does it feel like?” Depending on the strength of the laser, you may feel nothing, while some patients report feeling a warm and soothing sensation.

Results after 3-5 sessions
While your chiropractor will determine the treatment plan that is best for you and your condition, those who receive LightForce™ laser therapy generally see results after 3-5 treatments.

Four Surprising Foods to Promote Bone Health

sliced and whole red grapefruitsWhile many of us lose bone mass as we age, there are some surprising foods that can help keep our bones healthy and prevent osteoporosis. For an extra edge on building and maintaining strong bones, our team of chiropractors in Seffner, FL, suggest regularly incorporating the following foods into your diet.

This leafy green is great for your bones as it contains an excellent source of calcium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus. If you aren’t a fan of the taste of spinach, try sneaking it into a fruit smoothie.

This tangy citrus fruit is loaded with vitamin C, which plays a vital role in the process of bone health. Vitamin C helps to build collagen, which is an essential bone component that tends to deteriorate with age.

While tofu alone doesn’t pack much of a taste, this plant-based protein is abundant in calcium and phosphorus, both of which are necessary for bone growth.

Green Tea
One key factor in bone loss and the development of osteoporosis is oxidative stress. Green tea, with its high amounts of antioxidants, can help to neutralize this imbalance of the production of free radicals and the body’s ability to detoxify their harmful effects.

Four Signs You Should See a Physical Therapist

male physical therapist treating a patient’s kneeIt is not uncommon for athletes to make the mistake of not seeing a physical therapist following an injury. However, you don’t have to be recovering from a serious injury to benefit from physical therapy. Keep reading for some signs that it may be time to seek physical therapy in Valrico, FL.

You are still in pain three days after an injury
When you experience an injury, you should avoid physical activity for about three days. Apply ice to the area and elevate it. If you are still in pain after three days, you should schedule an appointment with a physical therapist.

Pain medication is ineffective
If you’re an athlete, you may be used to minor aches and pains. If over-the-counter pain medication offers no relief, however, it may be time to seek physical therapy.

You see changes in your appearance
If you are noticing significant changes in appearance (i.e., a knee that is always swollen), you should contact a physical therapist as soon as possible. You could be making an underlying injury even worse.

You are experiencing sharp pain
Our bodies use pain as a sign to tell us that something is wrong. If you are feeling a pain that is sudden and sharp, you may have a pulled ligament or stress fracture. With the right physical therapy program, you can potentially avoid the need for medical procedures or surgery.

Three Important Things to Consider When Choosing a Chiropractor in Brandon, FL

male chiropractor treating a female patientIf you are in need of treatment for your spine, muscles, or joints – and you prefer a hands-on approach versus a focus on medications or surgery – chiropractic care is likely for you. In the field of chiropractic, the primary goal is to alleviate your symptoms by eliminating the cause of your pain or condition. As you search for the chiropractor that is best for you, here are some important factors to keep in mind.

Licensure and Credentials
One of the most important factors to consider when you are choosing a chiropractor is licensure. You can check a chiropractor’s credentials by accessing your state licensing board’s website, as well as their medical school, training hospital, and any possible malpractice or disciplinary history.

Reviews and Recommendations
Reviews on sites like Healthgrades and Yelp are a great way to find out what other patients are saying about a particular physician or clinic. You can also ask family, friends, and other healthcare providers for recommendations.

Relevant Experience
Chiropractors are available to assist in treating a wide range of symptoms for many ailments. When speaking with a particular chiropractor in Brandon, FL, ask about the experience they have in handling conditions or injuries similar to your own.

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.



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.