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.
This is a common misconception among the public in regards to chiropractic care, and unfortunately something we hear on a regular basis. Many people are afraid the out of pocket expense for chiropractic is going to be too high, and as such, will live with pain and dysfunction for as long as possible until they can no longer stand it. Even when it gets to that point, often times they are in so much pain their first stop will be to their medical doctor or an urgent care clinic for some sort of medication to dull the pain.I cannot stress enough how important it is to treat these conditions from the start rather than waiting for them to “go away” on their own. Pain is caused by a direct injury or by dysfunction in the body which has likely been present for quite some time. In general, the longer the problem has been present, the longer it will take to correct it!Many insurance companies have coverage for chiropractic care, some for acupuncture and massage therapy as well! This can significantly decrease the out of pocket cost for the patient in many cases. Have a high deductible to meet first? Even a half dozen visits to a chiropractic office paying completely out of pocket is usually more affordable than a visit to Urgent Care or the Emergency Room, and usually saves a significant amount of TIME and HEADACHES (which, by the way, the Chiropractor could also treat!).Still thinking chiropractic is too expensive? Consider the alternatives…Medication? Surgery? Of course, there is always a time and place for everything. However, are these other options really getting to the root of the problem or potentially causing MORE problems in the future?Mask the symptoms with medication and it allows the current dysfunction to continue.Surgically alter the anatomy and completely CHANGE the function and response of the body.Unsure of your insurance coverage for chiropractic care? At Optimal Chiropractic, we offer a NO COST and NO OBLIGATION consultation and check for insurance benefits. Our goal is to make sure you have ALL the information to make the best decision for yourself and your family! Give our office in Post Falls a call at (208) 777-4305!
Why Do I Have Back Pain?Such a common question to be asked in our office. And often times, there may not be a simple answer. Did you know, from your skull to your “tailbone” there are 3 different layers of muscles in the back? There are the superficial, intermediate, and deep layers, which are all broken down further into muscle groups based on their attachment and region of the spine. There are even textbooks solely dedicated to low back pain (the one sitting on my desk now is nearly 1000 pages, titled: Low Back Syndromes), not even focusing on the rest of the spine.Low back pain is the most prevalent of all musculoskeletal conditions, and will affect nearly everyone at some point in their lives. Pain can be caused by a variety of factors, and often a combination of many different things before you even start to notice pain. In this blog we will focus on 1 single muscle which is often overlooked, but may very well be the culprit to your low back and hip pain.The muscle I am referring to is called the psoas (oddly pronounced “so-as” or “so-ass” – for which I often get strange looks or giggles from patients). The psoas is a muscle located deep in the abdomen. It attaches to the front and side of the lumbar vertebra and even to the discs of the lumbar spine. It travels downward to the pelvis and is combined with another muscle called the iliacus, and together they attach to the femur or "thigh bone". As these muscles join together, they become known as the iliopsoas, but are commonly referred to as hip flexors.The main function of the hip flexors are to bring the thighs toward the stomach. There are simple things we do every day which may cause the psoas to be repeatedly shortened or remain in a contracted state. Sitting is one of the most common postures which causes this repeated shortening of the hip flexors. It is very important to get up and get your body moving throughout the day, especially for those working at a desk all day long.Even though the psoas is located deep within the abdomen, it is still possible to treat the muscle to help release tension and possible trigger points. These trigger points in the muscle may refer pain to the low back anywhere along the course of the muscle itself. It is not uncommon to have more tenderness when treating one side compared to the other possibly due to compensations which have developed elsewhere in the body. This muscle is also very important when it comes to overall stability of the spine and of the core, which we will discuss in a later blog regarding abdominal bracing for core stability.Treatment of the hip flexors is often overlooked or may be incorrectly addressed. Many of the patients we treat in our office report they do static stretches for the hip flexors and quads, but do not seem to notice a significant change. We often find that this is because they are not getting specific enough with the area they are trying to target, or are stretching incorrectly. Many other doctors and even some chiropractors who do not focus on soft tissue or do not look outside of the spine for dysfunction tend to miss some of the other factors, such as the psoas, for treating low back pain and hip pain.If you, or someone you know suffers from hip pain or low back pain, contact our office to learn how we can help you to achieve a pain free and healthy lifestyle.Looking for a Post Falls Chiropractor? Contact Optimal Chiropractic in Post Falls for more information (208) 777-4305. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/postfallschiro as well as Twitter and Instagram @optimalchiropf for updates in the office!