One of the most common and often devastating problems a person can experience is insomnia. This problem can be the cause (and also effect) of many physical and emotional conditions.Each of us at one point or another has experienced some sort of sleeplessness or waking several times throughout the night. For many, this experience is short term. One or two nights of restless sleep when our schedule has been thrown off that will later return to normal. There are millions, however, who suffer with this difficulty almost every night.This can be an incredibly frustrating experience for those who live with this challenge. It can have a negative effect on many aspects of life including poor work performance, difficulty in school, emotional distress, and physical exhaustion.There are many remedies to this problem, some of which have the potential to be dangerous. Sleeping pills often do not work and can become very addictive. If pain or anxiety is the root cause of the problem, medications are simply masking the effects of a deeper issue.It is very important to identify triggers of insomnia to properly treat the condition. Diet related changes can have a significant effect on not only getting to sleep, but staying asleep throughout the night. Often we will have patients keep a food diary and/or a sleep diary to track not only what they are eating, but when they are eating it throughout the day.One other significant technique for insomnia is to simply breathe deeply for five full minutes prior to lying down. The breath should be slow with a full exhale each time. This technique helps to relax the entire nervous system prior to sleep. Regular chiropractic care can also help with insomnia, because it also is focused on optimizing the nervous system. Regular adjustments also help to relieve tension from anxiety and stress, and are also very effective for relief of pain anywhere in the body.For more information regarding insomnia and how it can be treated, please contact the doctors at Optimal Chiropractic in Post Falls, Idaho.
We just enjoyed Thanksgiving here in Post Falls, Idaho and millions of American families enjoyed a day filled with lots of food, laughter, and sleep. After the big meal, a lot of people noticed they get very drowsy and for years the culprit has been the turkey. More specifically, the tryptophan in the turkey. So what is tryptophan?? Does it really make you tired??For starters, Tryptophan itself does not make you tired. Tryptophan is actually an amino acid found in many different types of meats, turkey being one of them. Tryptophan is a precursor for the production of serotonin. Where this myth gets its origin, is that serotonin is the brain chemical associated with healthy sleep. Turkey has many amino acids in it, tryptophan being just one of them.What really makes you tired after a thanksgiving meal really has to do with what you eat with your turkey. Most thanksgiving meals include many different foods containing lots of carbs like rolls, yams, stuffing, and desserts. Carbs have been shown to slow down your system and bring on drowsiness which is why you usually feel tired.As always we hope everyone had an outstanding Thanksgiving this year. We hope you ate a lot, slept a lot, and enjoyed your extended weekend with family and friends. Optimal Chiropractic in Post Falls is dedicated to helping our community stay healthy through helpful information and the care we provide.Happy Thanksgiving,Dr. Chris & Dr. Emily
It’s that time of year again. The dreaded flu season is upon us. First of all, I’ve always found the term “flu season” to be kind of weird. It is like this flu virus migrates to cold areas in an attempt to make people sick. In reality, the flu is here all year around. In fact, “flu season” is really nothing more than a marketing gimmick used by the pharmaceutical companies to push their flu shots. Here is a very informative and objective article from PBS.org about the Flu vaccine, which says - "The more common claim is that the vaccine lowers one’s risk by an average of about 50 percent to 60 percent".The real reason people get sick more often in the winter months actually has to do with lifestyle choices. People are less active, eat food that is worse for them, and get outside less often. There isn’t a shot, food, or potion that will prevent you 100% from getting sick. Although many people turn to the flu shot as a first defense, the flu shot is under a lot of scrutiny for its lack of efficacy and safety. There are however, many things you can do to stay healthy during the winter months naturally.
- Stay active – staying active should be a foundation for everyone’s lifestyle. Activity and exercise has been shown by many studies to improve immunity, promote digestion which can help eliminate toxins, and increase secretion of “feel good” hormones such as dopamine and endorphins.
- Vit D – Vitamin D is a great immune booster and immune support. Vitamin D triggers the body to produce its own antibodies called antimicrobial peptides which have been shown to inactivate the flu virus. A research study out of Japan concluded that children taking 1200 IU of Vitamin D helped protect against the flu when compared to placebo. Check out this Harvard Medical School's article on Vitamin D.
- Chiropractic adjustments – chiropractic adjustments have an outstanding effect on the body. Chiropractic is most commonly known to treat joint and muscle pain, but did you know that chiropractic care can have a huge impact on the immune system?? Research done by Ronald Pero PhD, showed that subjects utilizing chiropractic care on a regular basis had 200% greater immune competence than subjects that did not utilize chiropractic care.
- Wuji Chlorella & Spirulina – These are two super foods that should be supplemented in anyone’s diet. Chlorella and Spirulina contain the daily essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs. On top of that, it promotes digestive health and is immune booster which will help you stay healthy throughout the entire year, not just “flu season”.
- Drink water – staying hydrated is essential all year round. Hydration will help systems run efficiently and will help flush unwanted toxins from the body. The general rule of thumb is to drink a minimum of eight, 8 ounce glasses of water every day or approximately half a gallon a day.
We at Optimal Chiropractic in Post Falls love educating our community in the Coeur d'Alene area about wellness, your health, and chiropractic treatments. There are many different options when it comes to healthcare. When it comes to pain and dysfunction, many people seek care from their primary care or medical doctor. It is, however, becoming more common for people to seek out a more holistic approach to healthcare such as chiropractic care.Here are 5 simple reasons why you should see a chiropractor:
- No drugs or surgery
Chiropractic is a safe and natural method of healing. It focuses primarily on the spine and nervous system to get to the source of the problem, rather than treating the symptoms. Every organ and tissue in the body is connected to the nervous system, when there is dysfunction then systems cannot operate at their full potential.
- Safe and Cost effective
A single visit, or even a series of visits to a chiropractic office is a fraction of the cost of most surgical procedures to the spine. Chiropractors are trained to recognize and treat dysfunction within the nervous system and musculoskeletal system. When it comes to conditions such as neck pain, low back pain, headaches, and sciatic pain, chiropractors have had tremendous success in helping to alleviate these conditions and many more.
- Improves posture
Stress and tension can cause muscles in the neck and chest to become short and tightened. When these muscles become tight, they pull the shoulders forward causing the upper back to become rounded and the neck to protrude forward. This poor posture can lead to neck pain, headaches, upper back pain, even TMJ and jaw pain. Adjustments to the spine release fixated or “stuck” joints in the neck and back which help to release tension in these muscles.
- Restores mobility
As mentioned above, joints often become restricted due to tension, injury, and poor posture. Joints that do not move properly will restrict range of motion and not allow the body to move properly. Imagine being unable to turn the head due to neck stiffness or neck pain, an adjustment helps to release the fixated joints and release tension in the muscles helping to hold that joint together. This also helps to relieve muscle spasm and inflammation in and around the joints.
- Helps Acute and Chronic Pain
This statement can be explained by all of the statements above. An acute injury may involve muscle spasms, inflammation, pain, decreased range of motion, and so many more symptoms. Treating the source of the problem early is essential to prevent small injuries from becoming serious or chronic later in life. Chronic back pain and neck pain can be treated by restoring movement to joints which have developed arthritis (also known as degenerative disc disease). To remain healthy, movement is essential!
Optimal Chiropractic in Post Falls specializes in treating Sciatica. We provide pain relief and management for patients suffering from irritation and damage to the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest and widest single nerve in the human body. It is made up of smaller nerve fibers which come from both the lumbar spine and sacrum. It travels down the entire length of the back of the leg, activating many different muscles and areas of the skin along the way. The sciatic nerve is broken down in to branches as it travels in to the lower leg which allow it to supply structures all the way in to the feet.So what exactly is Sciatica? Basically, sciatica is a term used to describe any type of irritation of the sciatic nerve. It is typically associated with pain in the buttocks or down the back of the leg, there may also be numbness or tingling present as well. The causes of sciatic nerve pain can vary as well. A herniated disc, arthritis, or degeneration of the spine may cause compression of one of the branches which contribute to the sciatic nerve. Muscles along the course of the sciatic nerve may also cause symptoms of sciatica, the most common is the piriformis muscle in a condition called Piriformis Syndrome.The piriformis muscle is a muscle which stretches from the sacrum to the top of the femur where it attaches to the pelvis. The sciatic nerve and branches of the nerve pass underneath this muscle as it makes its way down the back of the leg. In some cases, the sciatic nerve can even directly pass through the piriformis muscle rather than under it. When this muscle becomes tightened, it can compress the sciatic nerve causing irritation and decreased function.Muscle tightness and compression can occur for a variety of reasons. The glutes are the larger muscles in the hip and buttock area, and often times when they are weak or underactive, the smaller muscles such as the Piriformis need to engage in order to help out with movement. When this happens, the smaller muscles eventually may become overactive and tight.There are many different treatment options for Sciatica. The doctors at Optimal Chiropractic in Post Falls, Idaho take a very hands on approach to the treatment for sciatic nerve pain relief. Often times, adjustments to the spine and pelvis can significantly decrease the symptoms of sciatic pain. We also incorporate many deep tissue techniques and exercises to address overworked and underactive muscles and tissues to aid in faster recovery.