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What to Know About Sciatic Pain

What to Know About Sciatic Pain

If you have it, you know it. Sciatic pain (also called sciatica) is a common back ailment that impacts approximately 40 percent of adults at some point during their lifetime. The sciatic nerve is the longest and largest nerve in the body. About the same thickness as your thumb, it begins in the lower back and extends to the foot.

Characterized by shooting pain that travels the length of the nerve, sciatica can be mild or severe. It can prevent mobility or at the very least, be uncomfortable and irritating.

Symptoms Of Sciatic Pain

In addition to the shooting pain, people who suffer from sciatica may experience other symptoms such as:

  • Numbness or weakness of the leg
  • Difficulty moving the leg or foot
  • Inability to stand up
  • Burning sensation in their back, hips and legs
  • Chronic pain on one side

What Causes Sciatic Pain?

Sciatic pain occurs when the sciatic nerve is compressed. Conditions that could cause this compression include spinal stenosis, degenerated disc disease, a herniated disk, or a bone spur on the spine. Smoking, injury or regular wear and tear from age can also be to blame. All of these conditions result in numbness, pain, stiffness of the leg, or inflammation.

How Is Sciatic Pain Diagnosed?

Sciatic pain can be diagnosed by a chiropractor after a complete assessment. The doctor will begin with a medical history and ask about the location and severity of the pain. A series of tests, such as the Straight Leg Test or Braggard’s Test, will be conducted that focus on your reflexes. The doctor may ask you to perform certain stretches and exercises to determine what aggravates or relieves your pain.

How Is Sciatic Pain Treated?

The good news is most people usually get relief from sciatic pain without invasive procedures or medications. Here are a few treatment options that a chiropractor can offer:

  • Ice or cold therapy. Applying ice or cold compress to the area reduces inflammation and eases pain.
  • Ultrasound. A gentle heat that penetrates deep into the muscle, these sound waves increase circulation and reduce cramping, stiffness, inflammation and muscle spasms.
  • Spinal manipulations. At the core of chiropractic care, these adjustments restore misaligned vertebrae to their proper position and improve movement of the spine.
  • TENS. TENS therapy, otherwise known as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, uses electrical currents to control pain and reduce muscle spasms.

Chiropractic care is an effective way to treat sciatic pain because it focuses on the musculoskeletal and nervous systems and the conditions that impact them.

At Live Well Chiropractic Center, our goal is to help you feel better so you can engage comfortably in the activities you enjoy most. If you or someone in your family is experiencing sciatic pain, you don’t have to suffer any longer. We can help you determine the cause of the pain and then develop a non-invasive treatment plan that is best for you. Give us a call at 513-285-7482 to schedule an appointment! Be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for our latest updates and tips!

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How To Stay Healthy This Winter With Chiropractic Care

How To Stay Healthy This Winter With Chiropractic Care

Staying healthy during the long winter months is a challenge facing most of us. Not feeling well or dealing with an injury makes day-to-day life more challenging. Whether it’s the seasonal flu, winter sports injuries or just feeling the impact of the cold weather on your joints, chiropractic care is one way to proactively prepare for the change in temperatures and stay healthy during the winter.

Here’s how visiting your chiropractor during the winter months can help:

Reduce body stiffness

When the temperature drops, your muscles contract in an effort to keep you warm. Unfortunately this well-intended reaction often results in stiffness and less flexibility in your muscles or joints, making you more prone to discomfort and injury. An adjustment to your spine can help your spine stay properly aligned, which will relieve your body stiffness.

Prevent colds and flu

The spread of colds and flu is more prevalent in the winter. Combine that with compromised immune systems, sleep deprivation and stress, and it’s no wonder why most of us get sick in the winter. Spinal adjustments can boost your nervous system, which in turn can strengthen your immune system.

Heal sports injuries

If you’re a skier, snowboarder or like to exercise outside, chiropractic care can ensure your body is loose and properly aligned before you venture out into the elements. When your muscles are already warmed up and flexible, you are less prone to injury.

If you do sustain an injury, chiropractic care can help you rebuild your strength and coordination. This gives your body a chance to heal and correct itself naturally without medication or invasive procedures.

Relieve symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a type of depression that occurs with the changes of season. While there is no cure for this, chiropractic care can regulate hormone production to the nervous system. Because the spine acts as the central nervous system’s communicator to the rest of the body, spinal adjustments can help you get better control of your feelings, thoughts and emotions.

Manage stress

Our muscles contract when we’re feeling stressed, resulting in tension in our shoulders, back, neck and other muscle groups. Muscles that are constantly tense impact the bones, tendons, ligaments, joints and nerves as well. When a chiropractor adjusts the spine, it relieves the pressure and results in an immediate sense of relief, which is freeing both physically and mentally.

If you’re ready to stay healthy this winter and alleviate the aches and pains the cold weather brings, give Live Well Chiropractic Center a call. We are available to answer any questions you have about joint or muscle stiffness, sports injuries, or the impact of Seasonal Affective Disorder on your body.

Contact us today at 513-285-7482 to schedule an appointment, or check us out on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for our latest tips and updates!

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How To Fight Stress With Chiropractic Care

How To Fight Stress With Chiropractic Care

Stress can have an overwhelmingly negative impact on your body and your health. If left untreated, it can lead to other issues such as tension headaches, migraines, back pain, sleeplessness, anxiety, depression, and physical problems including high blood pressure and heart disease.

Stress can be debilitating, impacting your work, relationships and general happiness. Fortunately there is a way to deal with stress that doesn’t involve extreme measures or medicines with potential side effects. Because it takes a holistic, mind-body approach to treatment, chiropractic care has proven to be successful in helping to minimize stress and keep you focused and calm.

Here’s how visiting your chiropractor can help you alleviate stress:

Chiropractic care reduces muscle tension

Stress and muscle tension feed off each other. The more stress you feel, the more your muscles tense. The more your muscles tense, the more stress you feel. Muscle tension impacts your posture, and how you walk, sit or stand. It can also have an impact on your focus and your sleep. But a visit to your chiropractor can help. Your chiropractor can adjust your spine, relieving muscle tension and restoring your body’s natural balance.

Chiropractic care restores physical function

Your backbone is the pathway your brain uses to communicate to the rest of your body. It controls every organ, tissue and cell. So when you feel stressed, it impacts your backbone. A spinal adjustment from your chiropractor can restore function to your body. It increases nerve flow to your brain’s limbic system, which regulates your emotions. All of this makes you feel healthier, more energetic, more relaxed and less stressed.

Chiropractic care reinforces good nutrition

Many people turn to comfort foods during times of stress. Unfortunately, overeating or choosing unhealthy foods can make you feel sluggish, bloated and oftentimes even more stressed.

Good nutrition is the foundation of your overall health, and that includes your ability to deal with stress. When you eat clean and healthy, it can have a big impact on your stress level.

Your chiropractor does a lot more than spinal adjustments. Because they take a whole-person approach to care, chiropractors can coach you on full-body wellness. This includes exercise, physical therapy and lifestyle habits including nutrition, food and any supplements you may be lacking. After considering your whole medical history, chiropractors can help you build healthy and sustainable life habits that will help you reduce stress and feel better overall.

Are you tired of feeling the effects of stress? Are you ready to get some relief? At Live Well Chiropractic Center, we believe that life is too short to deal with stress and the pain associated with it. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment. Be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for our latest updates and tips!

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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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Importance of Posture

The Importance of Posture

Most people don’t realize the importance of posture and the effects it can have on your overall health. Having poor posture is one of the top three reasons for all visits to the doctor, and worsening posture over the years can decrease your life expectancy. Here are a few reasons why maintaining good posture is important to your health.

Preventing back problems

One of the biggest problems that can occur from poor posture is temporary or chronic back pain due to the pressure put on your joints, nerves, and muscles from slouching. If you have a job that requires you to sit at a desk for most of the day, make sure you are sitting up straight.

Improving athletic performance and preventing injuries

Even if you are a star athlete, poor posture can impact your performance and cause injuries, especially if you spend most of your day sitting for long periods of time. In order to enhance your posture when you are off the field or outside of the gym, make sure to take regular breaks throughout the day that involve some activity. Even taking a 15-minute walk can help improve your posture and ultimately your athletic performance.

Lowering the risk for chronic health problems

The natural height that we lose with age brings a greater chance for having a curved spine, which can cause tightness around many of your internal organs. These restrictions increase the chances for chronic health problems such as digestive issues, stroke and heart disease. In order to reduce the risk for these health-related issues, treat your posture with the same level of care as you would with other habits, like healthy eating, exercise, and brushing your teeth.

Boosting your mood and energy levels

Having good posture can impact more than how you appear. A study from the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry states that “adopting an upright posture may increase positive affect, reduce fatigue and decrease self-focus in people with mild to moderate depression.” The tension caused by poor posture can also decrease your energy levels due to the compression in your spine. In order to keep both your body and mind strong, be sure to incorporate flexibility exercises such as yoga into your workout routine.

Live Well specializes in chiropractic services that improve posture including spinal alignment, decompression therapy, and preventative exercises. We can also help your children improve their posture before bad habits become ingrained. To schedule an appointment, email us at info@livewellcc.com or call at 513-285-7682. If you have general questions, feel free to send us a message.

Be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for our latest updates!

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How to Stay Safe on the Court

How to Stay Safe on the Court

Tennis is an amazing sport for many reasons. It’s a great aerobic workout that also strengthens your muscles, betters your balance and increases your physical stamina. Another bonus is that tennis is played in a social setting, has a degree of friendly competition and can be played almost anywhere throughout the year.

While tennis-related injuries happen less frequently than other high-impact sports, there are a number of ways that you can minimize the chance for injury on the court and ultimately up your tennis game. Here’s how.

Warm Up Properly

Tennis is so fun that it’s common to want to jump right into the game, but warming up is an imperative part of any sports-related activity or workout routine. Failure to do proper warm-ups before heading onto the court can be harmful to your muscles and joints. Gentle stretches and basic aerobic warm-ups like jumping jacks, running in place and lunges for several minutes will not only prevent injuries but will also increase your performance.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking enough water not only makes you feel and play better, but it also helps your muscles. Dehydration can cause sodium and potassium levels to be abnormal, which is directly related to muscle strains. Make sure to drink water before, during and after your tennis matches to prevent dehydration, especially during the summer.

Prevent Overexertion

Playing tennis frequently can be fun and exciting, but it can also increase the risk of injury, especially in your dominant arm. Tennis elbow is a common condition that occurs when the tendons in the lateral epicondylitis are being overused from the twisting motions in your arms. 70 percent of active tennis players develop tennis elbow at some point in time.

The condition can cause severe pain on your elbow, forearms, and wrists that make everyday activities difficult. A common misconception about tennis elbow is that it occurs only from playing tennis. Many other sports, hobbies, and professions that require an intense or repetitive grip, like using a computer mouse all day, can also be a cause.

If you’ve treated the pain from tennis elbow with at-home remedies such as over-the-counter pain relievers, icing, heating and rest and are still experiencing symptoms, it may be time to see a physician. While chiropractors are generally associated with providing treatments for the back, their techniques are also applied with great success to eliminate tennis elbow.

Dr. Kim can treat tennis elbow by using adjusting techniques and rehabilitative exercises that focus on the fascia, or the soft connective tissues between your muscles. To schedule an appointment at Live Well Chiropractic Center, email us at info@livewellcc.com or call at 513-285-7682. If you have general questions, feel free to send us a message.

Be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for our latest updates!

Health Care

Cold Weather Chilling You To Your Bones?

Are you the kind of person who knows when the weather will begin to get colder because you can feel it in your bones? While medical and scientific researchers do not yet have a definitive answer to the question about cold weather’s impact on your bones, there are some theories that support the idea.

How Does Cold Weather Impact Your Bones?

It is possible for the cold weather to impact your bones in more than one way. However, researchers are still solving the riddle of just how it happens. The one way in which we can be sure we’re impacted by the seasonal downturn in temperatures is that we become less active. When our bodies are less active, circulation to our organs and bones decreases. This decreased circulation can cause weakness or pain in your joints. Additionally, the main theory about cold weather’s direct impact on your bones and joints relates to barometric pressure. Some studies have shown that when barometric pressure drops just before a cold spell, it seems to coincide with an uptick in complaints of bone and joint pain.

How to Protect Your Bones

The two actions you can take to prevent the cold from slowing you down with pain may seem like common sense, but they are worth mentioning. The first is to adapt your activity schedule to the change in temperature. If you normally jog, run or walk outdoors, don’t quit for the winter. Find an indoor track or gym – or use a treadmill at home – to keep up your exercise routine. Exercise will keep your blood flowing and lessen the negative effects of winter inactivity. Secondly, when you venture outdoors in frigid weather, dress appropriately. Keeping your head and trunk warm will conserve most of your body heat and therefore reduce the occurrence of your blood vessels constricting. Wearing insulated, waterproof gloves and boots will also help to keep your finger and toe joints from suffering the effects of low temperatures.

When to See a Professional about Bone Pain

Bone and joint pain are not something to take lightly. While rest and medications may be helpful in reducing temporary aches and pains, pay attention to – and seek treatment for – any new pains that occur during the winter months. As well, seek treatment from a healthcare professional for any severe pain you experience that includes swelling or that makes normal movement impossible.

One option for managing your bone and joint pain in these winter months is chiropractic care from our clinic. At Live Well Chiropractic Center, we help treat and prevent pain and injury through preventative health services with a focus on nutrition, exercise and spinal health. Call us today at 513-285-7482 or email info@livewellcc.com to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kim. Her extensive understanding of body mechanics will get you feeling better!

Be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for our latest updates!