Not Just a “Back Dr!”

Hispanic Family Taking Dog For Walk In CountrysideWhen people hear the word “chiropractor,” they think “back doctor” but chiropractors can actually help with many conditions other than back and neck pain. How is that?

Misalignments and subluxations in the spine can irritate the nerve system and this can have many affects on the entire body. Chiropractors look at the body as a whole. They believe that by treating one area of the body, you are making an impact on the whole system.

The following are some of the benefits of chiropractic care that you may not be aware of:

Allergies

Millions of people suffer from allergies and they can affect your quality of everyday life. Chiropractic care can help with allergies by reducing stress to the nervous system, enhancing immune system functions by removing subluxations and supporting your overall general health.

Carpal Tunnel

The carpal tunnel is a band of ligaments and small bones in your wrist. Painful symptoms can result when nerves are compressed by a collapse of this nerve “tunnel.” Unknown to many is that subluxations in the upper spine may compromise the workings of any structure between it and the tip of your littlest finger. If a subluxation is the cause of your wrist problems chiropractic can help.

Arthritis

Arthritis is one of the leading causes of disability in the United States and can be a very painful condition. Chiropractic care can help get your joints in proper alignment improving biomechanics eliminating the stress that contributes to arthritic conditions.

Headaches

Many people complain of suffering from either occasional or frequent headaches. A common cause of headaches is from spinal bones in the neck that aren’t supporting the head properly. Chiropractic can help by performing spinal adjustments that remove subluxations and stress on the spine.

For Children

Studies of chiropractic for children have shown that it can help with conditions such as asthma, chronic ear infections, nursing difficulties, colic, and bedwetting, as well as, typical neck and back pain.

Chiropractic Can Help Many Conditions

Natural relief can be as simple as visiting your chiropractor! Call us if you are experiencing a health issue that you may not even see listed here. Digestion issues and weight issues are also very common conditions that chiropractic care can help you with. Valley Spinal Care Kierland may be the answer to your problem!

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Top Reasons For Chiropractic

Happy senior couple.Chiropractic patients can proclaim the benefits of chiropractic adjustments better than most chiropractors themselves since patients are living proof. Usually, they will share their experience with all who will listen. We compiled the top 5 reasons why people choose chiropractic care.

1. Be More Healthy
2. Relieve Pain
3. Improve Physical Performance
4. Posture
5. Body Awareness

Be More Healthy Overall!

Chiropractic is based on the principle that the body has the innate ability to heal itself but in reality, our body’s ability to heal can be interrupted by negative effects of stress. Chiropractic care can help the body heal and achieve wellness by getting the spine and nervous system back in line.

More specifically, when the nervous system is irritated by spinal misalignment (vertebral subluxations), the regulatory capacity of the brain relative to the rest of the body is compromised. Chiropractors seek to restore a more natural state in the body by using specific chiropractic adjustments to correct these imperfections. Chiropractors know that when the nervous system works better, ALL systems in the body have the potential to work better!

Relieve pain!

The spine contains many pain-sensitive tissues such as joints, muscles, nerves, discs and ligaments. If there are any abnormal alignment patterns in the spinal column, this can place an abnormal amount of stress and strain on any one of these tissues. Chiropractic adjustments are consistently better than other medical options in reducing the intensity of acute low back pain, plus restoring normal function for short-term and long-term effects.

Improve Physical Performance!

Many athletes – amateur and professional – see the positive effects of chiropractic in their personal successes. Athletic performance is affected by a combination of strength, flexibility, speed and coordination. When the spine exhibits imperfections in movement and/or alignment, the resulting vertebral subluxations can create focal areas of irritation in the nervous system, which subsequently interfere with the optimum functions of all other systems. As a result, athletic performance suffers. When athletes are adjusted regularly, they will often attribute their success (at least in part) to their chiropractic care.

Posture!

Good posture shows confidence and helps us to feel and look our best. Spinal curves are absolutely paramount to good posture. In the normal spine, there should be a gentle curvature of the spine inward in the neck and lower back, with a balanced outward curve in the mid-upper back. One of the most common postural faults (head forward, shoulders rounded forward) occurs when the lumbar (low back) curve is too flat, or the thoracic (mid-upper back) is too rounded. If this abnormal body position is not corrected, this can place a lot of pressure on the spine where the neck meets the shoulders, causing stress and strain.

Body Awareness!

Most people do not know this, but joint position is one of the most important ‘senses’ used to detect body position in 3-dimensional space (only surpassed by vision in terms of importance). Without this joint information, for example, you would be severely uncoordinated in the dark, most likely unable to walk without falling. This ‘sense’ provided by the joints of your body is called proprioception. Chiropractic adjustments help to restore proper position and movement of your body’s joints so proprioception (body awareness) is optimized. When you are more aware of your body in space, your improved balance and coordination will help you by preventing accidents and injuries!

Call Us for a Natural Healthy Choice

Chiropractic care is not only for back pain. Chiropractic is a natural healthy choice for optimum performance and an essential component of mind-body communication to ensure that your body functions the way it is intended. Contact Valley Spinal Care Kierland at (480) 443-7678 to schedule your appointment!

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New Habits For The New Year

2015
New Year’s resolutions often focus on personal improvement. This year, we are encouraging entire families to consider making a pledge to adopt a healthier and more active lifestyle.

Parents have more potential than anybody else to influence their children’s behavior — including their eating habits — according to a study by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In fact, parents outrank sports celebrities as the people most children would most like to be, according to the survey.

“You are the most influential role model in your child’s life,” says Kim Larson, registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy spokesperson. “Modeling healthy eating behaviors encourages children to adopt and choose healthy behaviors that will benefit them for a lifetime.”

Setting Realistic Goals

Small steps add up, and Larson recommends making healthy lifestyle changes that are realistic and easy to stick with for the long-haul. Try adopting healthy changes for the entire family, such as:

• Make sure your kids know they are part of the team and that health and fitness are a family affair.
• Encourage children to help plan meals — from developing the menu to shopping to preparing and serving the meal.
• Serve regular, balanced meals and snacks with a variety of nutrient-rich foods.
• Eat breakfast daily.
• Enjoy family dinner together each night or as often as possible.
• At each meal, fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables.
• Make at least half of the grains you eat whole grains.
• Get active. Incorporate physical activity where you can in your day, whether taking a family walk after dinner or hitting the gym. Remember, children and teens should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day, and adults should get two and a half hours per week.

Focus on Overall Health, Not Weight Alone

According to the experts, good nutrition, health, and fitness fun should be the focus of your family’s goals, not calorie counting, food restriction or working out.

“You don’t want your kids to think that a healthy lifestyle is only about how much they weigh,” Larson says. “Concentrate on delicious nutrition and fun physical activities,” says Larson.

For a personalized plan tailored to your lifestyle and the unique wellness needs of your family, contact Valley Spinal Care Kierland to help start 2015 in a better way.

Happy New Year from Dr. Chris Serafini & Valley Spinal Care Kierland and get the whole family together by committing to a healthier lifestyle as a team.

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Survival Tips For The Holiday Season

Apples with engraved hearts

We have so much to be thankful for this holiday season! Follow these six survival tips to stay healthy and fit through the holidays and the celebrations that go along with them.

1. Avoid skipping meals period, but especially on the day of events. If you think you are saving calories by not eating before your event, you are setting yourself up to over indulge and will wind up taking in more calories instead. On the day of a special occasion, have your breakfast, snacks and lunch, but make sure they are well rounded and nutrient dense foods like: eggs with spinach and fruit, apple with nuts and a salad with grilled chicken.

2. Maintain your exercise routine. Your calendar can get busy with festivities, shopping, seeing family and your normal everyday life. Each week, look at your calendar to schedule in your workout. Schedule as you would a very important meeting! Because it is. Interval training or high intensity interval training can be an efficient way to get a higher burn in a shorter time. You will also be burning more calories for as long 48 hours after you train. Make sure to exercise the day of events and day after for sure.

3. Plan ahead. Find recipes to make meals and freeze for the week(s) that you know you will be too busy for. You will avoid deferring to take out or worse!

4. When at parties, fill your plate with the healthy stuff first. That way there is little room for junk. Get involved in conversations and avoid standing by food displays.

5. Do enjoy yourself and set realistic goals. Enjoy the fresh baked apple pie, but avoid the store bought junk. Allow yourself some of the festivities, but within reason and not regularly.

6. Wash your hands often. Especially after you take public transportation, use any public area and before you leave the gym. This will greatly reduce risk of infection.

Most of all, have a fun and healthy season with your friends and family. Give thanks for what you do have and celebrate the relationships that support you and bring you joy.

If you find that you need some additional help achieving the healthy life-style you desire, feel free to contact Valley Spinal Care Kierland for a consultation.

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SUPER SIMPLE STRETCHES TO PREVENT BACK PAIN

back painIf you’ve ever groaned, “OH, MY ACHING BACK!” you are not alone. Back pain can range from a dull constant ache to a sudden sharp pain.

The American Chiropractic Association reports that 31 MILLION Americans experience low back pain at any given time and back pain is the single leading cause of disability in Americans under 45 year old.

There is a good chance that back pain has afflicted you or someone close to you. Whether you are a student, a stay at home caregiver, an avid athlete, a professional constrained to a desk all day, a senior, or an active career person, you can be affected by low back pain. And if it is left untreated, low back pain can significantly change your quality of life.

Low back pain can become chronic and can lead to poor health and depression. Respondents of a National Institute of Health Statistics survey indicated that at 27%, low back pain was the most common form of chronic pain.

Here are 3 SUPER SIMPLE early morning stretches you can use to help prevent low back pain:

exercise

1. Low back stretch:

Bring both knees to your chest by first raising one knee and holding it with both hands, then raising the other to join it. Gently pull both knees toward your chest and breathe. Hold for 20 seconds.

2. Pelvic tilt:

Lie on your back with your knees bent. Tighten your ab muscles so that the small of your back presses flat against the bed or floor. Hold for five seconds, then relax. Repeat three times.

3. Glute stretch:

Lying on your back with knees bent, cross left leg over your right. Gently pull your right knee toward your chest, so you feel a stretch in your left glute. Hold for 20 seconds; repeat on the other side. Exercises to reduce low back pain are not complicated and can be done at home without any special equipment.

Call your Chiropractor

For optimal health, get your spine aligned so that your nervous system is working at 100% potential! Regular chiropractic check-ups can prevent injury and keep you and your family functioning in top form.

Valley Spinal Care Kierland
6339 East Greenway Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
(480) 443-7678

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Happy Birthday to Chiropractic!

iStock_000001010453SmallThursday, Sept. 18th marks the 119th birthday of the profession of chiropractic!

The very first adjustment was given by D.D. Palmer in Davenport, Iowa to a partially deaf man named Harvey Lillard.

After his adjustment, the man’s hearing was said to have improved!

The word “chiropractic” was coined from Greek root words by Rev. Samel Weed. It was developed in 1895 and has been around longer than antibiotics or vaccines. Chiropractic works – it is much safer than drugs or surgery and has withstood the test of time.


Have you seen your chiropractor lately?

No one would entertain the thought of walking around with just one shoe on. Not only would it look funny, but it would be really bad for your feet, knees, hips, back and even your neck. Unfortunately, many people have been doing this very thing for years without knowing it!

When an otherwise healthy spine is forced to function in a Subluxated state (one or more vertebrae become misaligned and create biophysical deficiency) the resultant imbalance creates poor body mechanics and a higher risk for long term soft tissue damage. Postural distortions like uneven hips or a ‘functional short leg’ are signs that ‘something’s off’ in your spine and needs to be evaluated.

Just like driving a car with bad alignment can cause premature wear and tear on tires and brakes – walking around with a functional short leg from subluxations can cause premature wear and tear on your joints and discs (degenerative disc disease).

If you’re experiencing the warning signs of this type of imbalance – like leg, hip or back pain, call Valley Spinal Care Kierland at (480) 443-7678 for your tune-up!

Happy Birthday Chiropractic! Chiropractic’s all natural solutions can keep you balanced and feeling great!


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More Isn’t Always Better

Athlete Eating an AppleWe all know that simple nutrition, exercise and lifestyle changes can radically change your appearance and health for the better.

Diet modifications such as cutting out grains, dairy, and processed foods will help loose the bloated belly, keep weight gain under control and will generally make us healthier. There typically doesn’t need to be drastic measures to attain good health.

In the case of exercise, drastic measures don’t need to be taken either to attain good sustaining health. Younger athletes may train for peak performance and strength and working harder and more intense is better. As we age, our focus should turn toward health and longevity rather than peak performance. In the 35-55 age range, more isn’t always better. Working out harder isn’t necessarily better for you.

Performance is an interesting topic. The majority of people choose to train because they find it fun and rewarding and they do so for the fringe benefits of optimal health and hopefully longevity.

The training that athletes need to do to be competitive may not necessarily be the training needed for optimal health, longevity, and sustainability. It is the sacrifice that they choose to make.

Training for performance will always be better than choosing to live a sedentary lifestyle, but it is best to focus on individual ability and the individual dosage of exercise. There was a study done by cardiologist, Dr. James O’Keefe by looking at endurance athletes and his research showed that more was not always better and exercise and mortality rates correlated to a dose response curve, similar to drugs.

Exercise, like medications, is dose dependent, and the ability of the body to deal with the dosage of exercise as one ages, changes. The therapeutic index narrows. Give too little of a drug or exercise, it does not work. Give too much, it’s toxic, give an appropriate dose, and it works great!

Check out these four ideals for health and longevity:

Hypertrophy

Build up lean muscle mass with strength work and rep ranges. The more lean muscle you have, the better off you are. We lose muscle as we age, or become diseased, or from being inactive.

Mobility

Some joints are for stability and some joints are for mobility. Keep the mobility joints active with range of motion exercises and be aware of keeping both left and right sides equally active. This will help prevent injury and imbalances.

Aerobic Ability

Basic aerobic capacity decreases 1% every year after age 25. By being physically active you help to slow the age related declines in VO2 max. As we age, the ability to handle workouts as a good stress is dependent on hormonal levels. Older athletes should account for stress and hormonal levels in recovery rates. It is good to mix up the energy systems being worked. Going for a longer walk, bike ride, etc. at an easier pace for a longer period is good for optimal health and aerobic capacity, just as incorporating some sprints or HIIT into your training regimen is equally important.

Enhancing Longevity and Sustainability with Valley Spinal Care Kierland

The very basics of getting enough sleep, getting adjusting regularly and supplementing your diet on an individualized basis will keep you feeling your best and will be the perfect environment for longevity and sustainability. Contact us for more information on how we can help you through your workouts and through your everyday life!


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Enjoy for Good Health!

melonWe now find ourselves eating melons and other fruits throughout the year that were once traditionally known as “summer” fruits since produce grown from all over the world is now readily available in our local markets any time of the year.

Yet, watermelon seems to be the epitome of summer as the local harvest peaks during July.

This summer, be sure to include watermelon in your diet (in moderation of course) not only for the sheer pleasure of its refreshing and delicious nature but for its incredible benefits. You may be familiar with the list of benefits that watermelon offers but most likely, you may be surprised… so let’s dig in:

• L-citrulline, an amino acid in watermelon, seems to protect against muscle pain.

• Watermelon works similarly as COX-2 inhibitor drugs as it contains cucurbitacin E or tripterpenoid which blocks the activity of the pain and inflammation-causing enzyme, cyclooxygenase.

• New research showed citrulline and arginine supplements derived from watermelon extract lead to significant improvements in blood pressure and cardiac stress in obese study participants.

• Watermelon contains more of the antioxidant, lycopene, than fresh tomatoes.

• Black watermelon seeds are edible and actually quite healthy. They contain iron, zinc, protein, and fiber. (In case you were wondering, seedless watermelons aren’t genetically modified, as they’re the result of hybridization.)

• Watermelon rinds are edible and contain chlorophyll, therefore, very healthy.

• Watermelon contains 91% water and is great for keeping you hydrated.

Eat Healthy and Get Adjusted

Eating healthy foods, maintaining a good weight and getting regular adjustments can be the answer to a happy life for you and all your family. Call us at Valley Spinal Care Kierland in Scottsdale to schedule wellness care, corrective care and relief care. All natural methods don’t cause side effects and can fix a problem not just the symptom.


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Back Pain In Golfers

Couple Enjoying A Game Of GolfI’m sure that you are familiar with the saying, “It’s all in the swing.”

Your golf game may depend on it. So, how is your back affecting your golf game? Maybe, the more appropriate question is “How is golf affecting your back?”

The modern swing is one of the most unnatural positions for the body to be in. To swing correctly, you have to separate your hips and shoulders during the backswing. At the end of the swing, you are in a position of lumbar hyperextension. By contracting your abdominal muscles during the follow-up phase and rotating your trunk with feet planted in one place, the intervertebral disc is highly stressed.

Back injuries are common in golfers because of the increased pressure in the spine. The pressure is enough to cause serious injury especially in older adults since spinal mobility becomes an issue with age. A common golf injury is low back pain that comes on suddenly or pain that creeps up over time and can last 2-4 weeks.

Muscle tears are common with younger golfers. Treatment for this type of sports injury is rest and relaxation, core muscle strengthening sessions, and correcting the incorrect movement pattern that caused the injury to begin with.

Sports Health explains that lower back pain is very prevalent in golf even though the sport looks to be non-strenuous. The 26 million golfers can account for how grueling the game can be. To avoid low back pain and injury we put together a few pointers:

  • Make sure your club fits your body.
  • Try to play regularly to prevent the “de-conditioning” of your muscles. On the other hand, avoid sprees of 5x a week as well.
  • Push the golf cart. Don’t pull it.
  • Use a long putter during a round. This will decrease stress on the spine.
  • Use a dual backpack strap golf bag for carrying.
  • Lose any excess weight to help prevent injury.

    See Valley Spinal Care Kierland to ensure you’re using proper body mechanics to prevent back injuries from golf and everyday activities. Chiropractic care can keep your spine properly aligned to reduce your risk of herniated discs and pain from osteoarthritis.


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    Joint Pain

    Injury is an obvious cause for joint pain. However, a less obvious cause for joint pain is inflammation. Millions of Americans suffer from joint pain caused by inflammation and this isn’t triggered by overuse or abuse. The pain is real and yet there is no evidence of a break or damage to a joint such as a hip, elbow, wrist, knee, etc. The culprit may be inflammation brought on by diet. Your diet can be causing your joint pain. We are all vulnerable to inflammation which can become chronic unless we understand what causes inflammation and we make choices every day to keep our bodies in balance.

    What is inflammation and how can we control inflammation in our bodies?

    Inflammation is the body’s immune response to an allergen in diet. It is a biological response to try to remove it and heal- specifically with acute inflammation. Through trial and error, you can find what foods trigger your pain and inflammation markers. While there is no definitive diet for arthritis and joint point sufferers since triggers are unique to an individual, there are inflammatory foods that should be avoided or at least limited for a trial and error diet plan.

    Inflammatory Trigger Foods

    Fried Foods
    Processed Foods
    Sugar
    Refined Carbohydrates
    Dairy Products
    Alcohol
    Tobacco
    Salt
    Preservatives
    Corn Oil

    What can we do to counter inflammation?

    Adding more vegetables and fruits is usually a good diet for most individuals. Keeping your diet as pure and unprocessed as possible will help avoid various health concerns. There are foods with anti-inflammatory content that can be added to diet to see improvement in general health.

    Anti-Inflammatory Foods

    Omega-3 fatty acid fish such as salmon, mackeral, tuna & sardines
    Dark leafy greens
    Colorful vegetables such as peppers
    Nuts, particularly almonds
    Soy
    Tomatoes
    Ginger and turmeric
    Garlic and onions
    Olive Oil
    Berries
    Tart cherries – In a 2012 presentation, Oregon Health & Science University researchers suggested that tart cherries have the “highest anti-inflammatory content of any food.”

    Contact Us For Joint Pain

    As your chiropractor, Valley Spinal Care Kierland can help you determine what is causing your joint pain and offer solutions that are all natural and will get to the root of the problem. Masking the pain with drugs will not fix the cause of the problem. Contact us at (480) 443-7678 for real solutions.

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