Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Do treadmills hurt your back?

Treadmills.... good or bad?  At our office in Kingwood, we often get patients that complain of lower back pain when running on a treadmill.  Why is this?  Although treadmills are supposed to simulate running outdoors, the fact is you are not really going anywhere and are going to create a greater impact on the spine.  We find that many of the patients that complain of lower back pain after running on a treadmill have what is called Lumbar Facet Syndrome.  Often on x-rays of the lower back, we will find increased sclerosis (calcium buildup or arthritis) in the joints of the lower back. 

So what do we do about it? 

First, it is best to switch it up.  Get outside and run/walk.  This changes up the stress on the spine and allows you to use different muscles that aren't used on a treadmill.  Another problem with treadmills is that you are always going straight and never turning.  When running outside, because of turns, etc., more muscles get used and thus is a better workout. 

Second, incline it!  Adjust the settings on the treadmill so that it is at a slight incline (~3 degrees or more).  This helps limit the stress and impact on the joints of the lower back by changing the angle of the pelvis when running.

Of course, always get your back properly evaluated by your chiropractor first to make sure it is not a more serious issue.  No back pain is normal, so if you have pain while running, make sure you inform your chiropractor.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Back Pain and Yard Work

This time of year tends to be a busy time for us here in Kingwood.  We usually see quite of few injuries from doing yard work, especially the lower back.  Here are a few tips to prevent injuries:
  1. Stretch - Stretching before doing yard work is just as important as before sports.
  2. Keep your nose between your toes - Make sure to use your legs and avoid repetitive bending and turning to the side.  This creates a lot of stress to the lower back and the discs.
  3. Hydrate - Drink plenty of water to keep your muscles hydrated.
  4. Split it up - Don't try to conquer the entire yard in one day.  Also, change it up.  For example, spread some mulch, then mow, then sweep, then do some more mulch, etc.  Don't do the same activity for prolonged periods of time.
Good luck with your yards this year.  Hope we get more rain than last!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Product Spotlight - Osteoforce

This product contains bone supportive nutrients for restoring healthy bones when bone loss may have been attributed to a deficiency or malabsorption of vitamins and minerals like calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K, and others.

The minerals chosen for this formula are from Albion Advanced Nutrition, the leader in formulating truly chelated minerals with outstanding absorption. The calcium and magnesium are supplied in an ideal 2:1 ratio. A higher intake of calcium than that supplied in OsteoForce is not necessary due to the far greater absorption of calcium bis-glycinate chelate in comparison to other non-chelated calcium salts typically supplied by other manufacturers.

For more information on how to order this supplement, call Kingwood Chiropractic Associates at 281-359-6932.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Fitness at Work or by Phone

As a chiropractor I talk to patients on a daily basis about living a healthy lifestyle. One of the keys to a healthy lifestyle is regular exercise. I have heard all the excuses and use them myself at times. I know you are busy and there are a lot of demands on your time. However, I know it makes life even harder if you are trying to get everything done that needs to be done but are not functioning at your optimum potential because of an unhealthy lifestyle.

One way to improve your fitness at work is to take advantage of the opportunities that are available to you on a daily basis. Opt for those activities that demand more effort over those that are more convenient. For example, use the stairs whenever possible. If it is an option, use your own horsepower to get to work via running, walking, or biking. Or park as far as possible when going to work or the store. Keep it as a part of your consciousness to move as much as possible. Not only will it help you burn calories it will help you stay more alert and focused.

Another benefit to healthy living is that many insurance companies and businesses offer incentives for individuals who demonstrate that they are living a healthy lifestyle. Find out if that applies to you and take advantage of those opportunities. Lunch time walking clubs, company sports teams, and interoffice competitions are great ways to get more people on board and create a built-in support system.

Finally, with today’s smart phones, there are some really cool, free apps to help you improve your fitness at home and even at work. One really good one is Workout Trainer on Android. This app will suggest free workouts based on your time restraints, intensity desired and requires little to no equipment. Another good app for running, walking and biking is iMapMyRun which uses GPS to determine and display your distance, time, pace, and calories burned. There are other many good apps out there and they are constantly getting better.

These are just a few ideas to get your wheels turning. I encourage you to start coming up with some of your own ideas of how you can become more active in your work environment. This will be a great start towards a healthy lifestyle that will help you get more years out of your life and more life out of your years.

Dr. Buchan and Dr. McComb are board certified doctors of chiropractic and owners of Kingwood Chiropractic Associates. They have extensive education and training in the treatment of neuromusculoskeletal conditions, applied clinical nutrition and acupuncture. They are committed to helping you and your families obtain the information which is essential to achieve health and wellness, and through that process empower you to make decisions that will lead to fulfillment of your goals and a life of greater potential. For more information on methods of improving health, go to www.kingwoodchiro.com.

Here is our link to the article in Dockline Magazine, page 28.