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How To Relieve Lower Back Pain

How To Relieve Lower Back Pain

If you’ve ever had pain in your lower pain, you know how much it hurts to move even your arms, legs or neck. A good way to stop constant low-back pain, aside from treatment, can be by exercising. It’s a bit of an oxymoron, sure, but exercise can help. Until you’re ready to go for a run or lift weights, consider swimming, a low-impact aerobic workout that relieves pressure on the joints and spine while exercising the muscles in the back.

What Causes Low-Back Pain?

Back pain can range from a muscle aching to a shooting, burning or stabbing sensation. In addition, the pain may radiate down your leg or worsen with bending, twisting, lifting, standing or walking.

The most common cause of low back pain is muscle or ligament strain. If you do not have a strong core, this can also cause low back pain from the strain of carrying extra weight.

Bulging or ruptured disks in your spine could also be the culprit. Disks are the cushions between the bones in your spine. The soft material inside a disk can bulge or rupture and press on a nerve, causing the pain.

In some cases, arthritis in the spine can lead to a narrowing of the space around the spinal cord, a condition called spinal stenosis. In rare cases, it could be osteoporosis, when your spine’s vertebrae develop fractures from porous or brittle bones.

If your back pain is accompanied by pain radiating past your knees, unexplained weight loss, bladder/bowel problems or is a result of an injury, call your physician.

How Does Swimming Help Pain In Your Lower Back?

When you’re in the water, you’re in a non-weight bearing environment. This reduces stress on your joints and allows a greater range of motion. The hydrostatic pressure in a pool also increases blood flow to the muscles in your back.

Depending on the severity of the pain in your lower back, and of course with your doctor’s OK, start slowly with a simple walk through water that completely covers your core. The friction from the water gives a light resistance that will strengthen the muscles in your back, as well as your core. As you heal, work your way up into swimming laps or taking a water aerobics class.

Are you experiencing lower back pain? Consider comprehensive chiropractic care with Dr. Kimberly Muhlenkamp-Wermert at Live Well Chiropractic Center. We help treat and prevent pain and injury with non-invasive healthcare services and a focus on nutrition, exercise and spinal health.

Schedule your appointment with Dr. Kim today by calling 513-285-7482 or emailing info@livewellcc.com. 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 and tips!

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How Chiropractic Care Can Help The Healing of Bone Fractures As We Age

How Chiropractic Care Can Help The Healing of Bone Fractures As We Age

The old saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” is relevant when it comes to broken bones and healing – especially as we age.

A broken bone doesn’t heal as quickly when we are 50 as it did when we were 20. This is because of age, but also because of the physical changes that affect the skeletal system, such as osteoarthritis or osteoporosis.

Patients with osteoporosis are often more prone to fractures of the hip, spine and wrist. According to the American Chiropractic Association, “half of all women and a quarter of men older than 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis.”

Lifestyle choices, such as inactivity, smoking, using alcohol in excess or a poor diet, also contributes to the risk of osteoporosis. Chiropractic care can help patients alter those life habits and improve chances for a better healing outcome after a fracture.

Aging also impacts the immune system and can disrupt the body’s normal inflammatory response to healing. This means an elderly person who falls could have a more serious bone fracture, such as a broken hip.

How Chiropractic Care Helps With The Healing Process

Chiropractic care can help as you heal and recover from a bone fracture. As chiropractors, we evaluate and test a patient’s bone density, and create an individualized plan to help regain and maintain optimal bone strength.

Manipulation treatments (also known as adjustments), along with rehabilitation, relaxation techniques, and nutritional and dietary supplement counseling are some common techniques used to help our patients heal faster and their body and bones become stronger.

Our focus is to help you and your broken bone heal well through increased mobility and range of motion.

Not only can these treatments help in your recovery – they are preventive in nature by strengthening your muscles, reducing stiffness, improving nutrition and reducing pain. Other benefits to chiropractic care after a bone fracture are:

  • Reducing risk of future fractures
  • Increased strength, balance, agility and flexibility

Women Have Their Own Unique Considerations

Women are more prone to losing bone density and strength that can factor into an increased risk for a bone fracture. This is especially true after a woman goes through menopause. Chiropractic manipulation, corrective exercise, and nutritional counseling help a woman’s body function and heal better. This helps the healing process after breaking a bone, but also serves as a preventive measure for later in life.

After The Fracture …

At Live Well Chiropractic Center, we help you heal from a fracture by relieving your pain, stabilizing your spine and joints, and creating a personalized wellness program. We are committed to keeping you healthy and your body stronger. With regular maintenance and adjustments, you will be at a lower risk for fractures. Contact us at 513-285-7482 to schedule an appointment. For more tips and our latest updates, be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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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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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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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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