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8 Safety Tips For Hanging Holiday Decorations Without Injury

8 Safety Tips For Hanging Holiday Decorations Without Injury

Holiday lights and decorations put us in the holiday spirit, but the excitement can quickly extinguish if hanging them is not done safely. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says there have been 12,000 or more holiday-decorating emergency department visits each year in the U.S. since 2009. Here’s what you can do to get those holiday decorations installed safely and without injury.

Tip #1: Inspect the decorations before you hang them

Check the wiring of the holiday lights for cracked or frayed cords, missing lights, dead bulbs and other types of damage. If the product has been inspected for potential safety hazards, the label “UL” for the Underwriters Laboratory will be clearly displayed on the tag. A green UL mark means the lights are safe for indoor use only; a red UL means they are safe for indoor or outdoor use. Throw away any damaged strands. Before you move to the next steps, take a few moments to stretch your muscles to avoid injuries!

Tip #2: Clean your gutters and downspouts

Clear out any leaves, branches and other debris from nearby trees. Clogged and backed up gutters and downspouts can lead to water overflow onto your lights, causing an electrical hazard. This should be done before you install your decorations.

Tip #3: Secure your ladder

Make sure your ladder is secure and on level ground before you start climbing. Have someone be your spotter to hold the ladder as you climb up and down. This helps to minimize your risk of falls.

Tip #4: Don’t walk on your roof

Slippery shingles, angled roofs and water channels can make holiday decoration installation dangerous. Avoid the roof, or hire a professional with the proper tools and equipment to handle this for you.

Tip #5: Use plastic safety clips

Use plastic safety clips to secure hanging lights to the exterior of your home. They are both safe and affordable. Don’t hammer tacks or nails into the cord or use metal staples. This can damage wires and create small holes in the exterior of your home, giving rain and melted snow the opportunity to damage your home.

Tip #6: Use the appropriate extension cords

Heavy-duty extension cords made specifically for outdoor use are the safest ones to use for your holiday lights and decorations. Use no more than three sets of standard lights per extension cord to avoid overloading them.

Tip #7: Use ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs)

Plug all your outdoor lights and inflatable decorations into GFCIs. They will help prevent electric shock if different currents occur in the hot and neutral wires.

Tip #8: Take care of the cords

Place the cords against the house or other structures so they are not stepped on, walked on, mowed over or tripped on.

Live Well Chiropractic Center wants you to stay safe and avoid injury as you install your holiday decorations this season! If you are experiencing any pain, inflammation or soreness after putting up your festive décor, please schedule an appointment with us. We will help you stay healthy and pain-free so you can enjoy the holidays with your family and friends. Contact us today at 513-285-7482 to schedule an appointment, and be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for our latest tips and updates!

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Pros and Cons of Standing Desks

Pros and Cons of Standing Desks

If “sitting is the new smoking,” when can we stand? We sit at work, we sit at school, we sit as we drive from one place to the next and we sit on the couch when we get home. Since the average office worker spends about six and a half hours per day sitting at a desk, standing desks have been introduced as an alternative in the workplace. But do they really work? What are the pros and cons? Here are some things to think about as you decide if a standing desk is right for you.

Standing Desk Pros

  • It improves posture. Standing while working forces you to stand up straight and have good posture. Some employees report less back, neck and tailbone soreness.
  • It keeps the blood flowing. It’s harder to nod off or feel sleepy when you’re in a standing position, so you may feel more alert while standing at a desk. Work may feel more urgent, so you may be more productive as a result.
  • It reduces some types of diseases. Standing reduces the risk of developing diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease. It can also reduce back and neck pain by 54 percent.
  • You will burn more calories. When you stand at a desk for 3-4 hours during the workday, your heart beats about 10 times more per minute. That’s the equivalent of running 10 marathons a year.
  • It’s easier to engage with co-workers. If you are in a shared office space, you are at eye-level with co-workers walking by, which may encourage brief exchanges that take the place of an email.

Standing Desk Cons

  • It can be uncomfortable. Some workers have complained about stiff legs, aching backs and sore feet after standing for long periods of time, especially if they have a health issue. Watch out for swelling in your feet and ankles, stiff knees and varicose veins.
  • It stifles the creative juices. Some workers have reported that creative work, like designing or writing, is more difficult to do in a standing position.
  • It’s hard to eat at your desk. Standing over your desk to eat lunch can be awkward and messy. It might be better to find a comfortable place to sit.

If you do decide to invest in the standing desk option, we suggest you consider the following:

  • Invest in an anti-fatigue mat. These are mats that cushion your feet and may reduce the discomfort in your body.
  • Wear supportive shoes. Standing all day won’t be possible in heels or in bare feet. Find a pair of shoes that will give you the support you need to be on your feet the whole day.
  • Take your time. Ease into your standing desk. You may need to work your way up to standing the whole day, and/or take frequent sitting breaks.
  • The best of both worlds. Consider a standing desk option that raises and lowers to allow you to both stand and sit throughout the day.

Do you have questions about the impact sitting or standing has on your body? Live Well Chiropractic Center is available to answer your questions, help you determine the cause of your pain and develop a treatment plan so you can start healing. Contact us today at 513-285-7482 to schedule an appointment! Be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for our latest tips and updates!

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How Chiropractic Care Can Help With Shoulder Pain

How Chiropractic Care Can Help With Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain is one of the most common forms of chronic pain for many adults. Left untreated, shoulder pain can be debilitating, preventing you from enjoying your favorite activities, working, and even leading to problems including neck and back pain or numbness in the arm and hands.

As a ball and socket joint, our shoulders are responsible for a large range of motion. The great mobility our shoulders give us also means that frequent use puts a great deal of strain on the four rotator cuff muscles that help shoulders move and provide stability. It’s here that most people often have chronic pain. Because most shoulder pain is associated with repetitive physical use, it can impact both adolescents and adults.

What Causes Shoulder Pain?

Because our shoulders are so versatile and offer a wide range of motion for different activities, there’s also different types of pain we can experience in our shoulders depending on how we use them. The most common type of pain is bursitis or tendinitis, which occurs when the bursa, a fluid-filled sac that helps movement by protecting the shoulder joint, becomes inflamed.

Other common causes of shoulder pain are injuries, rotator cuff tears due to overuse, arthritis, spinal issues and a condition called frozen shoulder, which happens when the lining of the capsule of the ball socket becomes inflamed.

Early signs and symptoms of shoulder pain include inflammation,  pain and limited range of motion. Recognizing the signs of chronic shoulder pain early can play a vital role in preventing long-term damage, which can lead to permanent chronic pain. So if you think you might be experiencing shoulder pain that won’t go away within a few days, make sure to schedule an appointment to have it looked at.

How Chiropractic Therapy Can Help

If you’re suffering from chronic shoulder pain, chiropractic treatment is a great alternative to invasive surgeries or prescription medication. Using gentle readjustments, regular chiropractic treatments help reduce inflammation and pain while restoring your range of motion and improving muscle strength.

At Live Well Chiropractic Center, we believe in providing the best service and care by identifying the root causes of pain and helping get your body back to maximum function. Contact us today to schedule an appointment so you can start healing. Be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for our latest updates and tips!

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Managing Knee Pain With Non-Invasive Treatment

Managing Knee Pain With Non-Invasive Treatment

Whether it pops when you bend it or there’s a persistent ache or stinging, dealing with knee pain is difficult. Knee pain impacts millions of people, whether it’s caused by a minor or serious injury, aging, arthritis or other medical issues. Left untreated, knee pain and injuries limit mobility and impact daily activities including walking, climbing stairs, getting out of bed in the morning and even using the restroom.

Types of Knee Pain

Knee pain falls into one of two categories: acute or chronic. Acute knee pain often occurs when tendons are injured, causing swelling and limiting range of motion. Left untreated, this can lead to a serious injury such as a tear or ruptured tendon.

Chronic pain is caused when joints and cartilage wear down, resulting in steady, regular pain as joints rub directly against each other. Often this is due to arthritis or osteoporosis, a bone disease. Other causes of chronic knee pain include degenerative joint disorders, which cause joints to quickly wear down.

Common Causes of Chronic Knee Pain

The knee is comprised of interconnected tendons, ligaments and cartilage, which can wear down over time. Because the knee is a major weight-bearing joint, any increased stress can lead to inflammation, chronic pain and/or injury if left untreated. Knee pain can take a variety of forms. If your knees lock or click when you bend them, you have difficulty with your knee’s range of motion, or experience swelling, numbness or discoloration, it’s a sign that something’s wrong.

One of the most common causes of knee pain is bursitis, which affects people who spend a lot of time on their feet. Like our shoulders and other joints, our knees have fluid-filled sacs called bursae that cushion the outside of the joint. Bursitis is caused when these sacs swell or become inflamed.

Other common causes include fractures, bacterial infections, and uric acid build-up, which occurs when uric acid crystals build up in the joints and cause inflammation.

How Chiropractic Treatment Can Help

Luckily, these problems can be treated with non-invasive chiropractic treatment. Not only can an experienced chiropractor provide physical therapy along with knee and hip manipulation that can help reduce pain and inflammation, but she can also help reduce stress on your knees with spinal readjustments and realignment.

Whether you’re dealing with acute or chronic knee pain, Dr. Kimberly Muhlenkamp-Wermert of Live Well Chiropractic Center can help you understand the underlying causes of knee pain, and reduce inflammation with a customized treatment plan so you can start enjoying a pain-free, active lifestyle again. Contact us today to schedule an appointment, and be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for our latest updates and tips!

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TMJ: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

TMJ: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

The temporomandibular joint (more known as TMJ) acts like a sliding hinge, connecting your jawbone to your skull. When there is an issue with the TMJ, symptoms include: pain while chewing; pain in the ear, face, jaw and neck; clicking, grating, or popping sounds in the jaw when you open or close your mouth; locking of the jaw joint and headaches. Sometimes, the pain is so intense that it is difficult to eat certain foods or enjoy daily activities.

What Causes TMJ Disorders?

The exact cause of a TMJ disorder is often difficult to determine. Pain may be due to a combination of factors, such as genetics, jaw injury, infections, or degenerative joint and/or autoimmune diseases. Some people who have jaw pain also tend to clench or grind their teeth, although many people habitually clench or grind their teeth and never develop TMJ disorders.

How Many People Have TMJ Disorders?

While we don’t know for certain how many people have TMJ disorders, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates 12 percent of Americans are impacted. The condition appears to be more common in women than men, and women using either supplemental estrogen or oral contraceptives are more likely to seek treatment for these conditions.

Non-Invasive TMJ Treatments

The most effective way to treat TMJ disorders is with professional treatment. Your physician or dentist may decide on a surgical treatment plan in rare cases, but a far less invasive course of chiropractic care has been proven to treat the issue.

An experienced chiropractor will focus on three key muscles: the masseter, the temporalis and the pterygoid. She will also treat the suboccipital muscles, the jaw joint itself and the top two vertebrae to make sure everything is aligned properly. In addition, your chiropractor can prescribe exercises to strengthen and relax the jaw muscles, increase jaw mobility, reduce jaw clicking and promote healing.

Dr. Kimberly Muhlenkamp-Wermert and the team at Live Well Chiropractic Center are experienced in treating TMJ disorders to help you get and stay pain-free. To schedule an appointment, email us at info@livewellcc.com or call 513-285-7682. Be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for our latest updates and tips!

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4 Ways Chiropractic Care Can Help During Pregnancy

4 Ways Chiropractic Care Can Help During Pregnancy

Carrying a child is one of the most beautiful experiences a woman can have — and it can be one of the most physically uncomfortable experiences as well. From morning sickness to the near super-powered sense of smell, every woman’s experiences are different, but nearly all women report suffering some sort of pregnancy-related pain. Here are a few of the most common pain points, and how to get relief naturally that can help you and your baby have a stress-free birth.

Low Back Pain, Headaches and Neck Pain

Pregnancy back pain typically happens where the pelvis meets your spine, at the sacroiliac joint. This is typically caused by weight gain, stress, hormone changes and natural muscle separation as your uterus grows and your body prepares for birth. Carrying a child temporarily changes your center of gravity and impacts your flexibility, both of which alters your posture. These changes can also cause pain in the neck and headaches.

It is crucial to adjust and align your spine appropriately so you can feel well while your body changes and your baby grows. This process continues to open the spine and allow the nervous system to function effortlessly, reducing low back pain, neck pain and headaches.

Pelvic Balance

Establishing pelvic balance and alignment is another reason to have chiropractic care during pregnancy. When the pelvis is misaligned, it may reduce the amount of room available for your growing baby. A misaligned pelvis may also make it difficult for the baby to get into the best possible position. This can lead to Breech positions or the need for a C-section.

Working with a Webster Technique certified chiropractor may help you achieve a more balanced pelvic alignment. With proper nerve supply, the labor process will flow smoothly and naturally with the least amount of pain to you, and less stress and trauma on your newborn.

Live Well Chiropractic Center’s Dr. Kimberly Muhlenkamp-Wermert is one of the few female chiropractors in the Cincinnati area that is certified by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association in the Webster Technique. She specializes in chiropractic care in all phases of pregnancy from pre-conception to post-delivery. If you’d like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kim, email us at info@livewellcc.com or call us at 513-285-7682. Be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for our latest updates and tips!

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3 Simple Ways To Give Back During The Pandemic

3 Simple Ways To Give Back During The Pandemic

During this time of uncertainty, many of us have feelings of anxiety, stress and even boredom from too much time spent indoors. While these are all normal feelings, one of the best ways to combat them is by helping others. Giving back not only helps others less fortunate in dealing with this pandemic, but it also helps to combat the negative feelings in our own lives. While we all may not be in a position to help as much as we like, here are a few simple ways you can help others in your community.

Deliver Treats

Our first responders perform acts of heroism every day, but during this pandemic, they are at an increased risk. Some first responders are even isolating themselves from their families to reduce the risk of exposure. One way to support them as they deal with this stress is by delivering meals, snacks or baked goods. Spend an hour or two in the kitchen with your family and cook a dish for your local police or fire personnel. What will make this even more impactful is to create a handmade note of thanks to accompany your dish. This simple gesture is much appreciated by first responders, and helps make their day a little easier.

Messages of Hope

Many of us are getting into the habit of going for an evening walk around our neighborhoods with our families. Not only is this a great exercise, but it also models healthy ways to relieve stress for our families, and gives us a chance to interact with neighbors (at a safe distance, of course). Some families are turning the walk into a scavenger hunt, searching for cats in windows, different color shutters or cars, and other likely items to find. One way to give back is to have your family create a message of hope or inspiring images on your sidewalk. Using sidewalk chalk or even homemade sidewalk paint, your children can spend an hour or two in the fresh air drawing rainbows and writing simple messages to encourage other families on their evening walks.

Help Senior Citizens

Senior citizens are among the most vulnerable to the pandemic, not only from illness but also isolation. Do you have an elderly neighbor? Write them a note with your phone number included and offer to run an errand for them. Do your children sing or play an instrument? Have them perform a few songs from the driveway of your neighbor’s house. If you don’t have an elderly neighbor, mailing handmade cards or encouraging messages to a local nursing home or extended-care facility is another great way to give back. If you have the means, donating funds, toiletries, cleaning supplies, pet food or other items to the Council on Aging is a great way to help.

These simple acts of kindness are what makes our community strong. At Live Well Chiropractic Center, we’re proud to be a part of Mason, Ohio, a town full of amazing people! We hope these ideas inspire you to give back, and that your family stays happy and healthy. We’ll get through this together! Be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for our latest updates and tips!

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8 Ways To Workout At Home

8 Ways To Workout At Home

Ohio gyms and workout centers have opened, but not everyone feels comfortable going at this point in the pandemic, including those of us with certain diseases and conditions. It’s still important to exercise while we’re staying at home more, so here are 8 ideas for how to get in your workout at home. Be sure to check with your physician before beginning any new exercise plan.

Homemade Gym Equipment

Think you can’t work out if you don’t have a home gym? Think again! Many everyday items can be repurposed into equipment. A sturdy stepstool or bottom stair can make a great jump-up box perfect for working out your lower body. Just be sure to move it into a large, open area to avoid injuries if you fall.

Miss working out with free weights? Make your own by using old milk or soda containers filled with water or sand. Miss the treadmill or cardio course? Go old-school and do jumping jacks or jog in place while you’re waiting on dinner to cook or watching TV.

Working Out With Videos

YouTube is a fantastic resource for in-home workout courses. Try this video that uses your body weight as the primary exercise tool. You can also try this video for 10 exercises you can do with only a chair.

Speaking of chairs, many of us want to exercise, but we also don’t want to leave our chair. We get it. Check out this video to get your workout in while you sit. No excuses!

Workout As A Family

One fun way to workout with your family is by playing games together. Check out our blog, 6 Ideas For Family Game Night for the tips. These wholesome games will have your whole family laughing while they work up a sweat!

Try hosting a family Olympics by making a homemade obstacle course and take turns competing to see who can finish it first, or with the most flourish. Use pillows and cushions to create a course for running and jumping. Add in a blanket that your family has to crab walk over or crawl under for a little extra difficulty.

At Live Well Chiropractic Center, your health and wellness are important to us. Dr. Kimberly Muhlenkamp-Wermert and her team are experienced in working with athletes and other physically active people to help them achieve their goals. To schedule an appointment, email us at info@livewellcc.com or call at 513-285-7682. Be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for our latest updates and tips!

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Keeping Your Mind And Body Active At Home

Keeping Your Mind And Body Active At Home

As our new normal of social distancing lingers on, it’s easy to become stressed or obsessed with the news. While it’s important to stay informed, it’s more important than ever to find ways to entertain, educate and inspire ourselves and our families. We’ve posted another blog with ideas for at-home fun and games, and below is a list of resources that will stimulate your body and mind to help you escape the pull of the television.

Workout At Home

While we may not be able to go out as much, it’s important to stay active. Whether you’re taking a walk most evenings or having fun in your backyard, getting those feel-good endorphins from a workout definitely helps reduce stress. The YMCA has posted a series of home workouts ranging from strength training to cardio to yoga. Also, trainer Lita Lewis posted a free 30-minute HIIT video for those looking for a high-intensity workout, and Anna Renderer’s family fun cardio workout is a great way for the whole family to get moving inside.

Art Adventures

Just because the museums have closed and theaters are dark doesn’t mean your inner artist has to take a pause. In fact, artists are stepping up with the power of the internet to let our creative spirit flow. The Metropolitan Opera is streaming an encore performance at 7:30 p.m. featuring operas including Carmen, Cosi Fan Tutti, Aida and many more. Google Arts & Culture’s collection will take you on a virtual tour of 12 famous museums including the Guggenheim in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington and even Paris’ Musée d’Orsay. Want an active art experience? Check out the Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence Mo Willems’ streaming collection, where you can doodle along with Mo and create your own works of art.

Learn At Home

We get it. It’s easy to plant yourself in front of the television and binge the saga of the Tiger King or the Harry Potter movies. While you should take time to entertain yourself, every now and then put down the remote and take your mind on a journey as well. Escape into new adventures with 1,000 free audiobooks or 800 free eBooks. You’ll find adventures for all ages and interests on these sites. Planning for a dream vacation when the crisis is over? These nine websites offer free language lessons for learners of all ages.

And for those of us taking on the role of teachers, there are plenty of online resources for you, too. Our public library has created several resources to help parents with their students’ education. These include online storytimes from librarians, Great Parks nature programs, local artists leading lessons and more. It also continues to offer Homework Help Now service. This connects a student with a tutor in a wide range of subjects from K-college from 2 p.m-11 p.m. daily.

The library also offers many databases to let you learn something new. Have you wanted to learn to knit? Learn a new craft from Creative Bug. What to know about your family history? Ancestry.com is available from your home for free via the library.

And when you need a few moments of quiet time for a work meeting or to simply enjoy a cup of coffee, Disney and Crayola have free printable pages for your children to color.

Living Well

At Live Well Chiropractic Center, we have temporarily reduced our hours, but remain open to treat our patients. Using CDC guidance to ensure your safety, Dr. Kimberly Muhlenkamp-Wermert and our team offer a full suite of chiropractic care, orthotics and corrective exercise for your entire family to feel its best. Give us a call at 513-285-7482 to find out how we can help today! Be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for our latest updates and tips!

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6 Ideas For Family Game Night

6 Ideas For Family Game Night

During this time of staying at home, it’s easy to count on the TV to entertain your family. While that might be an occasional well-deserved break, now is the time to take advantage of this situation and put a positive spin on this crisis by building memories that will last a lifetime. Here are six fun ways to stay active and have fun that don’t involve becoming a family of couch potatoes.

Scavenger Hunt

While we might not be able to go to most places, we can go for family walks. Now that it’s turning warmer, a walk each night is a great way to see neighbors (from a safe distance) and get some exercise. Next time you’re on your walk, step up the fun factor and turn it into a scavenger hunt. Use this list of items (or make your own) and see what you can find:

Red car

American Flag

Garden gnome

Green house

White shutters

5 squirrels

3 stop signs

Yellow blinds

2 dogs

Cat in a window

String Cups

Take an old shoe string and two plastic cups. Cut small holes in the bottom of the cups and insert the string into each cup, tying a small knot in the string of each to hold it in place. Use a ping pong ball or another small ball to toss from one cup to the next. You could have each person do this for themself, or give one cup each to two people. Create a start and finish line in your yard and race another family member. The first one to the finish line wins!

Hide and Seek in the Dark

Hide and seek is a fun game, but step it up a notch and play in the dark. Depending on the age or your kids or the size of your house, you might need to limit it to a certain floor to speed up the game. This is a great way to spend an active hour inside on rainy nights!

Pictionary

Even if you don’t have the official game, you can still play Pictionary. Use an online word generator and select your level of difficulty. The generator also works for charades, too!

Glow-In-The-Dark Bowling

Fun for all ages, this game is easy to make and a great way to enjoy your backyard. Save 10 bottles and when you’re ready to play, drop a glow stick from the grocery store into each bottle. Set up your 10 pins (bottles) use a small ball, and see who gets the highest score in five rounds.

Homemade Cornhole

Sew together two pieces of cloth using an old sweatshirt and fill with rice. Decorate two small paper plates with bright colors and take turns trying to make the bag land on the plates spaced far apart. If you’re playing with young children, increase the plates to three on each side and place them closer together. The first person (or team) that gets 10 points wins!

The family that plays together, stays together. As parents, it’s up to us how your child will remember this time. By playing games together, you’re building fond memories instead of being distracted by fear or sitting in front of a TV night after night. And who knows, the habits you’re building now might turn into habits once life returns to normal. For more tips and our latest updates, check us out on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn!

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