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Why Every Athlete in Oyster Town Should Consider Spinal Realignment

Keeping the body in tip-top shape for competition isn’t always easy. The last year has been a real challenge for many athletes and athletic-minded people here in Norwalk and all around the country. Many have been sidelined and benched thanks to the bully on the field, COVID-19.

But just because you may not be in the game right now, it doesn’t mean you should stop working to be your best self, and part of that means getting regular spinal realignments.

What to Expect Here

We’re athletes, so we get it. Being out of the game plays with your emotions and can be demotivating. Perhaps there’s a little more stress to release in your workouts, or maybe you haven’t been working out at all (I hope that’s not the case)! A spinal realignment could be just what you need to give your energy a healthy boost and readjust your mood in either scenario.

This post will talk about what a spinal realignment is and how it affects your body.  After that, I show you the top five benefits every athlete in Oyster Town can benefit from, even if you’re temporarily benched.

What Exactly Is A Spinal Realignment?

Sometimes referred to as spinal manipulation or adjustment, a realignment is precisely what you’d expect it to be; it’s a chiropractor using a specific force to put your vertebrae (the bones in your spine) back in their correct place.

A spinal realignment improves your range of motion, which is just a fancy way of talking about your ability to move around and do all those snazzy dance moves you’ve been working on in quarantine. A spinal realignment can also reduce the pesky lower back pain that tends to be a thorn in the side for many athletes.

What Happens When the Spine is Out of Alignment?

You can survive with your spine out of alignment, but you may not like it much. It causes a distracting level of discomfort, prevents an even flow of your body’s fluids, and makes movement a chore. Once you get a few regular realignments, however, you’ll feel the difference of a misalignment.

Allowing a spinal misalignment to go on for an extended period can cause sluggishness, extreme fatigue, and irritability. It can also lead to headaches, muscle pain, and joint stiffness too.

 

How Athletes Benefit from Spinal Realignment

There are several benefits athletes receive from a spinal realignment. Here are the top five:

  1. Perhaps most importantly, a realignment can enhance performance. You’ll feel more energized, even in the cold, wet winters of Norwalk.
  2. There are no drugs or chemicals involved. Drugs and chemicals that treat back pain and discomfort can tank your performance.
  3. A misalignment can exacerbate even the smallest injury, but regular spinal manipulation will strengthen your spine and help you prevent serious injury.
  4. Related to #3, not only can regular spinal realignments strengthen the spine, but it can reduce recovery time when you pull a muscle doing that fancy footwork, break a bone in your push to the winning line, or lift those weights without proper support.
  5. Finally, every athlete has some pain, whether from a previous injury or something new. Spinal realignment opens the flow of nurturing and nourishing fluids that help reduce common pains in athletes and active people.

 

How to Recognize a Misalignment

You can see if your spine is out of alignment in the following ways?

  1. Check the heels on your shoes. If they wear out unevenly, you’re putting too much pressure or weight on one leg, which could mean your spine needs to be realigned.
  2. If it’s difficult to pivot your head or hips easily, you’ll want to talk to us about a spinal realignment.
  3. Check the way you walk or run.  Go in a straight line for about 20 yards. If there is any limping or hobbling, it’s time to schedule a spinal realignment.

Staying in shape is vital for athletes, even during the cold weather and darker months. Spinal realignments can help keep your body healthy and your mood uplifted.  Please schedule an appointment with us to get the VIP treatment for your spinal realignment. Our office is safely organized and appropriately sanitized.

 

Sources:

5 Benefits of Chiro Care for Athletes

Chiropractic Medicine for Athletes

9 Signs Your Spine is Out of Alignment

 

This holiday season may your heart and home be filled with happiness, health, peace, and prosperity.
We look forward to seeing you in 2021.
With much love and gratitude, -Dr. Brenda, Dr. Erik, Yasmin, and Alejandra

6 Ways To Protect Your Neck and Back While Shoveling Snow This Winter

6 Ways To Protect Your Neck and Back While Shoveling Snow This Winter

A big storm is coming! Connecticut is bracing for the biggest storm it’s seen in three years!

As winter storms continue to threaten the East Coast, snow is an obstacle to many Americans daily. Here are some of our best tips on how to avoid risking a back injury while shoveling snow.

First, you should start with a quality shovel with an ergonomic design. Choose a push blade with wheels, a snow scoop, or a push snow shovel. A traditional snow shovel will put too much pressure on your neck muscles due to the “scooping” motion, whereas pushing will not. A snow blower is always the best choice for deep snow.

Second, try shoveling when there are no more than two to four inches on the ground. I know, this means you will need to shovel more, but the snow will be easier to lift, and this movement will be healthier on your back. Spraying the shovel with a silicone or WD 40 is also another favorite trick of mine and will help move the shovel through the snow quicker as well as keep the shovel clean between passes.

Third, always shovel loose snow. Hard-packed and frozen snow will require tremendous strain on your muscles and be too heavy. Take care to shovel small amounts of snow, so as not to overwhelm yourself.

Fourth, shovel the snow by pushing it rather than bending down to scoop it; try pushing the snow to the side of a driveway or walkway.

Fifth, try placing one hand on the shovel mid-shaft to make it easier to handle and keep the loaded shovel as close to your body as possible.

And last, but certainly not least, always think about your body’s posture when shoveling. Don’t reach or stretch to reach the area you’re focusing on; instead, move closer to it. Always bend at the knees and hips, keeping your back and neck straight, and let your weight help you push the snow.

This storm looks like a big one!

It’s very common for our office to become quite busy with lower back injuries following a storm like this or even smaller ones. Hopefully, these little reminders will help you through without injury. Snow shoveling is tough. Remember to take your time, don’t dress too heavy, and take frequent breaks. We’re here if you need us. Stay safe!

How to Avoid Winter Stress Meltdowns

For millions, winter is anything but a wonderland.  Managing the anxiety, fatigue and mood swings associated with winter stress can be a challenge.

Whether you call it winter stress or holiday blues, the period between November and January sends many people careening toward anxiety, overwhelming busyness and even feelings of inadequacy, and that’s without the added stress of Covid.

To help you start winter off right, here are several valuable and timely tips to help you avoid holiday meltdown and survive the anxiety often associated with the winter season.

First, start by really taking care of yourself both physically and emotionally. You are much more likely to avoid bouts of anxiety and drastic mood swings with this one simple step. Just be aware of what you are currently doing so you may make changes for the better.

For example, many people tend to overeat when anxious or stressed, particularly during the holiday season when high-calorie foods are plentiful.  While comfort food can be a great thing every now and then, over-doing it can have some unexpectedly unpleasant effects.  Indulging in too many sweets or high-fat meals can trigger increased anxiety, mood swings, fatigue and even erratic behavior.

By simply paying attention to the types of foods being consumed, as well as the amount, you can avoid many of the nasty pitfalls associated with using food as a stress reliever.

Second, caffeinated beverages can also have a definite negative impact on winter stress.  Studies have shown caffeine consumption increases the production of stress hormones such as cortisol.  This can result in increased feelings of anxiety and nervousness as well as increased fat accumulation, particularly around the belly area.

Of course, the most well-known effects of caffeine are “jitters” and sleeplessness, which often aggravate and intensify physical and emotional stressors.

The issue of sleeplessness frequently goes hand-in-hand with winter and holiday stress. And that is why it is number three on our list of things to help avoid winter stress meltdowns. Irregular or hectic schedules can leave you lying awake at night with thoughts and worries keeping sleep frustratingly away.  A lack of good, recuperative sleep plays havoc on the body’s hormones which affect physical and mental health.  The result is an increased level of anxiety, depression  and often even anger.

If you find yourself frequently losing sleep, try going to bed and rising on a regular schedule.  Yes, even on the weekends. Also, avoid heavy meals, sugar-laden snacks or alcoholic beverages within three hours before your regular bedtime.  As you lay down to sleep, make a conscious effort to create a mental picture of yourself relaxing on a beach, getting a massage or perhaps curled up in front of a warm fire.  Whatever you consider relaxing, send your thoughts there.

Another excellent way to help ensure a good night’s sleep is regular exercise during the day.  Staying active also relieves stress and encourages the production of mood-lifting hormones.  If hitting the gym every morning just does not fit your lifestyle or schedule, at least commit to taking three or four brisk 30-minute walks per week.  With this little bit of regular exercise, those extra pieces of pie or fudge will have a harder time finding their way to your waistline.

Number 4: Mediation is another highly effective “stress buster.”  This can be in the form of yoga, deep breathing or simply turning down the lights and listening to soothing music.  You do not need elaborate equipment or a special room for this.  Just find a quiet corner and spend 20 minutes letting the stress of the day wash away.

Finally, number 5. Set specific, attainable goals for the holidays, for next year, heck even for next week!  For instance, if you want to lose weight, create a plan, and do your best to stick to it. Goal-setting is a great way to take control of your life, particularly when faced with stressful situations.  And be sure to celebrate each milestone you achieve while working toward your goals, no matter the size.