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Chiropractor for Algonquin and Lake in the Hills

Is the Sun Being Bad for You Actually Just a Myth?

Research Suggests the Benefits Outweigh the Risks

“Avoid the sun, it will give you skin cancer, use lots of sunscreen, wear protective clothing and hats…” It goes on and on, we’ve all heard these statements.

Yet, have you ever heard this statement:

Sun Avoidance Promotes Early Death

I am sure you never heard your doctors tell you this. Why?Photograph of the sun shining from behind some clouds.

Listen to this:

Sensible sun exposure on bare skin promotes optimal physical and psychological health and helps prevent chronic diseases of all kinds. As noted in a scientific review by dermatologist Dr. Richard Weller, sun exposure has cardiovascular benefits independent of vitamin D, and cardiovascular disease is a far greater public health problem than skin cancer.

Could you imagine your doctor telling you this? Your dermatologist?

In fact, research suggests your risk of dying from heart disease or stroke is 800% greater on average than your risk of dying from skin cancer. One of the key messages in Weller’s paper is that public health messages really should be determined based on all-cause mortality, not a singular disease.

“Sunlight is a risk factor for skin cancer, but sun avoidance may carry more of a cost than benefit for overall good health,” he writes.

Another study published in the journal Public Health Nutrition in 2011 also concluded that:

“The overall health benefit of an improved vitamin D status may be more important than the possibly increased CMM (cutaneous malignant melanoma) risk resulting from carefully increasing UV exposure. Important scientific facts behind this judgment are given.”

Even though Weller is ahead of the pack in recognizing the importance of sun exposure, he and most other physicians don’t understand why this is so. There are many reasons, but two large ones are:

  1. Exposure to the sun increases nitric oxide production, which will relax blood vessels, lower blood pressure, and decrease platelet activation. This makes your blood thinner and less likely to clot and form a stroke or heart attack. Nitric oxide will also improve your immune function.
  2. Red and infrared rays are rarely discussed but recent research has shown that red at 660 nm and near infrared at 830 nm both have powerful benefits on improving the function of the mitochondria (the organs in each cell that produce energy). This is because when cells absorb that energy the efficiency of ATP and mitochondrial cellular energy is increased.

Is Avoiding the Sun as Risky as Smoking?

A study driving home this risk-benefit reality was done in Sweden. More than 25,500 Swedish women between the ages of 25 and 64 were followed for 20 years. Detailed information about sun exposure habits and confounding factors were obtained and analyzed in a “competing risk” scenario. Overall, women who got regular sun exposure did have a higher risk for melanoma compared to sun avoiders, but they also had a lower all-cause mortality risk, likely due to their increased vitamin D levels.

Women with active sun exposure habits ended up having a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and non-cancer death compared to those who avoided the sun. According to the authors:

“Nonsmokers who avoided sun exposure had a life expectancy similar to smokers in the highest sun exposure group, indicating that avoidance of sun exposure is a risk factor for death of a similar magnitude as smoking. Compared to the highest sun exposure group, life expectancy of avoiders of sun exposure was reduced by 0.6 [to] 2.1 years.”

In short, if you’re concerned about mortality, and not just mortality from one specific disease (melanoma), the scales are decidedly tipped toward sun exposure being of tremendous benefit.

However, we do want sensible sun exposure but we do not want to burn the skin.

Is Sunscreen the Answer?

Avoid shielding yourself from the sun’s rays by slathering on chemical sunscreens, many of which have been linked to an increased risk of skin cancer, as noted by clinical laboratory scientist Elizabeth Plourde, Ph.D.Photo of woman applying sunscreen on shoulders.

We have always been told that the sun causes skin cancer, even though generations of humans for thousands of years have been exposed to the sun most of their life and never developed cancer. Dr. Plourde tells us it’s actually the sunscreen that will increase your risk to cancer.

Researchers estimate sunscreen-wearing beachgoers introduce as much as 6,000 metric tons of sunscreen into the world’s oceans each year.

Oxybenzone may be the worst of all the chemicals used in sunscreens.

Sunscreens Contain Many Potentially Hazardous Chemicals

While some sunscreen manufacturers have switched from oxybenzone to avobenzone, no studies have been done to confirm whether avobenzone is actually a safer choice. Chances are, it’s not.

Disturbingly, recent research by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found 96 percent of the U.S. population has oxybenzone in their bodies, and this chemical is a known endocrine disruptor linked to reduced sperm count in men and endometriosis in women.

At least nine of the sunscreen ingredients the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved are known endocrine disruptors.

Many sunscreens also contain vitamin A and/or its derivatives, retinol and retinyl palmitate, which have been linked to an increased risk of skin cancer by increasing the speed at which malignant cells develop and spread.

Are Spray-on Sunscreens Safer?

Spray-on sunscreens pose an additional hazard by releasing toxic particles into the air. The FDA has previously expressed concern that inhaling these products may be risky, especially to children, and has warned parents to avoid spray-on sunscreens.

The two agents of greatest concern are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, as these are the two most often used in spray-on sunscreen products. These two minerals are the safest topical sunscreen agents around, but inhaling them is a whole different story.

Most studies to date have shown that zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are safe and unlikely to penetrate your skin when applied topically, as long as they are not nanosized.

But when these minerals are inhaled, they have been shown to irritate lung tissues and potentially lead to serious health problems, and the finer the particles, the worse their effects appear to be.

“Internal Sunscreens”

As mentioned, one of the primary risk factors of skin cancer is sunburn, which is an inflammatory process. Aside from paying careful attention to covering up before you get burned, you can reduce your risk of sunburn by eating plenty of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, and/or taking an astaxanthin supplement. The latter has been shown to work as an effective internal sunscreen, protecting your skin from UV radiation damage.

Safer Alternatives

When choosing a sunscreen, your safest choice is a lotion or cream with zinc oxide. It’s stable in sunlight and provides the best protection from UVA rays. Your next best option is titanium dioxide. Just make sure the product:

  • Does not contain nanosized particles
  • Protects against both UVA and UVB rays

Keep in mind that SPF protects only from UVB rays, which are the rays within the ultraviolet spectrum that allow your skin to produce vitamin D. The most dangerous rays, in terms of causing skin damage and cancer, are the UVA rays. Avoid sunscreens with an SPF above 50.

While not intrinsically harmful, the higher SPF tends to provide a false sense of security, encouraging you to stay in the sun longer than you should. Moreover, higher SPF typically does not provide much greater protection. In fact, research suggests people using high-SPF sunscreens get the same or similar exposure to UV rays as those using lower-SPF products.

Each year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) ranks sunscreens based on their effectiveness and safety of ingredients. This year, nearly 1,500 sunscreen products, including beach and sport sunscreens, moisturizers with SPF, and SPF-containing lip balms, were reviewed.

As you can imagine, most popular commercial sunscreens are not on the safe list. Here are better options:

  1. Mercola SPF 50 Sunscreen
  2. True Natural Neutral Unscented Sunscreen SPF 50
  3. Loving Naturals Adorable Baby Sunscreen stick SPF 30+
  4. Blue Lizard Australian Sensitive Sunscreen SPF 30
  5. BurnOut Ocean Tested Physical Sunscreen SPF 30

Fourteen of the worst-scoring sunscreens for kids included several popular brands, including two Banana Boat products, seven Coppertone products, a CVS branded sunscreen and two Neutrogena products. Avoid those, and stick with these alternatives.

Be Well!

Medical Journals Finally Say Chiropractic Helps Lower Back Pain

The Medical Establishment Finally Admits Chiropractic Improves Patients’ Lower Back Pain and More!

There have been dozens of studies over the last 20+ years showing how effective chiropractic care is for the treatment of neck pain, lower back pain, headaches, sciatica and more. Chiropractic care is not only more effective, meaning it gives people faster, longer-lasting relief from their pain, but also more cost effective. That means it costs you less money to get well.Photo of a doctor with a clipboard and stethoscope doing research on a laptop.

These studies for the most part have fallen on deaf ears, meaning the medical establishment as well as the press would ignore these studies. They even offer rebuttals saying “more research is needed,” “see your medical doctor first,” or even that the study must have been somehow flawed.

After the research piles up, sooner or later you cannot ignore it anymore.

Who Are the Major Players in this Research?

The American College of Physicians is a large group of medical doctors. From their website: “ACP is a national organization of internists, the largest medical-specialty organization, and second-largest physician group in the United States. Our 148,000 members include internists, internal medicine subspecialists, medical students, residents, and fellows.”

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) is the journal published by the American Medical Association (who have a history of being anti-chiro). According to their website: “JAMA, which began publication in 1883, is an international peer-reviewed general medical journal. Key objective is to promote the science and art of medicine and the betterment of the public health.” They really exist to promote the betterment of medical doctors but that is a topic for another time!

Psychology Today is a popular psychology publication. According to their site: “Psychology Today is devoted exclusively to everybody’s favorite subject: Ourselves. On this site, we have gathered a group of renowned psychologists, academics, psychiatrists and writers to contribute their thoughts and ideas on what makes us tick. We’re a live stream of what’s happening in ‘psychology today’.”

When you read the articles below, you will read “spinal manipulation” or “SMT.” In the United States, 94% of spinal manipulation is provided by chiropractic physicians. Another way mainstream medicine avoids coming out and saying “chiropractic.” Substitute “chiropractor or chiropractic” wherever you read spinal manipulation.

American College of Physicians Issues Guidelines for Lower Back Pain Treatment

The American College of Physicians (ACP) published a new lower back pain treatment guideline. It recommends first using non-invasive, non-drug treatments, including spinal manipulation, before resorting to drug therapies. The guideline was published Feb. 14, 2017 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

On May 1, 2017, the New York Times published an editorial by Aaron E. Carroll, M.D., that mentions the new guideline in a generally positive light. The article is generally positive and appeared in a major, mainstream publication read by millions of people. “Spinal manipulation—along with other less traditional therapies like heat, meditation and acupuncture—seems to be as effective as many other more medical therapies we prescribe, and as safe, if not safer,” he wrote.

Talking points on new ACP guideline:

  • The chiropractic profession has advocated for decades that conservative care choices such as chiropractic be the first line of treatment for lower back pain. Now, with this new guideline, the medical profession is recognizing the benefits of conservative care for this huge, worldwide problem.
  • Thanks to this guideline, it’s possible more everyday medical doctors will choose to refer their patients with lower back pain to chiropractors.

Article and Editorial on Spinal Manipulation Published in JAMA

The April 11, 2017 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association(JAMA) featured the article “Association of Spinal Manipulative Therapy With Clinical Benefit and Harm for Acute Low Back Pain.”

This systematic review and meta-analysis found that of the 26 eligible RCTs (Randomized Controlled Trials) identified, 15 RCTs (1,711 patients) provided moderate-quality evidence that SMT (chiropractic) has a statistically significant association with improvements in pain. Twelve RCTs (1,381 patients) produced moderate-quality evidence that SMT has a statistically significant association with improvements in function. One of the RCT’s included in this analysis, which was called “Adding chiropractic manipulative therapy to standard medical care for patients with acute low back pain: results of a pragmatic randomized comparative effectiveness study,” was led by investigators at the Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research.

Interestingly, an editorial by Richard A. Deyo, M.D., M.P.H., titled “The Role of Spinal Manipulation in the Treatment of Low Back Pain,” was published in the April 11 issue of JAMA. “If manipulation is at least as effective and as safe as conventional care, it may be an appropriate choice for some patients with uncomplicated acute low back pain,” wrote Dr. Deyo. “This is an area in which a well-informed patient’s decisions should count as much as a practitioner’s preference.”

National Public Radio story on April 11 quoted Dr. Paul Shekelle, a medical internist with the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center and one of the study authors, as saying the JAMA study found patients undergoing spinal manipulation experienced a decline of one point in their pain rating. He added that the study also found spinal manipulation modestly improved function.

Article and Editorial on Spinal Manipulation Published in STAT News

An article published April 4 in STAT News, a medical journal, discussed the ACP guideline and how it’s strengthening the cause of non-pharmaceutical pain control methods like chiropractic care and acupuncture. Another article published May 10 in STAT News covered proposed FDA recommendations that medical physicians learn more about chiropractic, acupuncture and other drug-free pain treatments as therapies to help patients avoid prescription opioids.

Article on Chiropractors Helping with Lower Back Pain Published on Psychology Today

On May 19, the Psychology Today website ran a piece about new research on chiropractors helping people with lower back pain. This article, “The Evolving Evidence on Chiropractors for Low Back Pain,” covered the ACP guideline and its recommendation for conservative care first, as well as the Annals of Internal Medicine systematic review that found evidence spinal manipulation (chiropractic) helps to reduce pain for people with chronic lower back pain (pain more than 90 days). It finished by saying, “On the whole, the evidence suggests that seeing a chiropractor can reduce pain levels and increase function for people with chronic low back pain.”

At our clinic we use spinal manipulation in addition to massage therapy, laser therapy, physical therapy, vibration therapy, and much more!

This is the most positive press chiropractic has received in a short period of time in the history of our profession. Now is the time to utilize the effective, safe services of a chiropractic physician. Give us a call at (847) 854-2000 and set up a consultation for your lower back pain in Algonquin, IL today!

You and your family deserve great health!

Be Well!

How Science Makes It Easier to Lose Weight and Relieve Back Pain

Weight Loss is Now Easier

“I want to lose weight.” Have you ever heard that before? Excess weight and obesity contribute to many harmful conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and joint and back pain. Let’s take a closer look at this issue.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases:

Fast Facts

Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2009–2010:Weight Loss Helps Back Pain

  • More than 2 in 3 adults are considered to be overweight or obese.
  • More than 1 in 3 adults are considered to be obese.
  • More than 1 in 20 adults are considered to have extreme obesity.
  • About one-third of children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are considered to be overweight or obese.
  • More than 1 in 6 children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are considered to be obese.

Adults Age 20 and Older

  • More than two-thirds (68.8 percent) of adults are considered to be overweight or obese.
  • More than one-third (35.7 percent) of adults are considered to be obese.
  • More than 1 in 20 (6.3 percent) have extreme obesity.
  • Almost 3 in 4 men (74 percent) are considered to be overweight or obese.
  • The prevalence of obesity is similar for both men and women (about 36 percent).
  • About 8 percent of women are considered to have extreme obesity.

Health Risks of Overweight and Obesity

  • type 2 diabetes
  • heart disease
  • high blood pressure
  • nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (excess fat and inflammation in the liver of people who drink little or no alcohol)
  • osteoarthritis (a health problem causing pain, swelling, and stiffness in one or more joints)
  • some types of cancer: breast, colon, endometrial (related to the uterine lining), and kidney
  • stroke
  • back pain, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease

What is Causing this Problem?

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases suggests:

Causes of Overweight and Obesity

Overweight and obesity result from an energy imbalance. The body needs a certain amount of energy (calories) from food to keep up basic life functions. Body weight tends to remain the same when the number of calories eaten equals the number of calories the body uses or “burns.” Over time, when people eat and drink more calories than they burn, the energy balance tips toward weight gain, overweight, and obesity.

Children need to balance their energy, too, but they are also growing and that should be considered as well. Energy balance in children happens when the amount of energy taken in from food or drink and the energy being used by the body support natural growth without promoting excess weight gain.

Many factors can lead to energy imbalance and weight gain. They include genes, eating habits, how and where people live, attitudes and emotions, life habits, and income.”

This is a polite way of saying we are eating too much and exercising too little. Now we know there are many factors that go into this; however, the bottom line is too many bad calories in, too few burned.

What Can Help Us Get a Healthy Body Weight and Relieve Back Pain?

Probiotics are live microorganisms that live in our gastrointestinal tract, especially the small and large intestine. Numerous studies have shown probiotics to be beneficial for gastrointestinal health, improving the immune system and helping with antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Recent research has shown specific probiotics to be helpful for the management of body weight; however, the World Health Organization has stated, “not all probiotics are the same.” The health benefit of probiotics are genus-, species-, and strain-specific and probiotics should be chosen based on the desired health benefit.

A new approach, UltraFlora Control, by Metagenics, offers targeted probiotic support with 10 billion colony-forming units (cfu) of Bifidobacterium lactis B-420. This probiotic has been clinically shown to help control body fat and body weight, offering patients another tool in their quest for a healthy body weight.

Diet and exercise is the “gold standard” for weight loss. It always has been and always will be. UltraFlora Control may help patients achieve body weight regulation by modifying gut microbiota composition, or changing the type of microorganisms in the gut.

With 10 billion CFU of the targeted probiotic Bifidobacterium lactis B-420, UltraFlora Control may help:

  • Support body weight regulation
  • Control body fat
  • Reduce waist circumference
  • Control abdominal fat

In a 6-month clinical trial of overweight individuals, those taking Bifidobacterium lactis B-420 showed reduced energy intake (eating less calories), as well as reduced body fat mass, body weight, waist circumference, and abdominal fat. The probiotic also promotes more short-chain fatty acid production(SCFA) when compared to a placebo, making it a powerful tool in your weight loss program.

When Bifidobacterium lactis B-420 in UltraFlora Control is used as part of a sensible program of diet and exercise it may help contribute to long-term weight maintenance, which helps minimize risks of conditions like heart disease, back pain, and more.

What is a “Sensible” Diet and Exercise Program?

First of all, starvation diets, one- or two-food diets, prolonged periods with multiple meals of powdered drinks and juice “cleanses,” and prolonged Selection of food that is good for the heart, rustic wood backgroundstrenuous exercise programs that you are not ready for are not “sensible.”

Diet—One definition according to Merriam-Webster is: food and drink regularly provided or consumed.

We tend to think of a diet as restricting and limiting yourself from the foods you like for a period of time until you reach a target weight. Then you go back and eat how you used to eat.

Instead, think of a diet as Merriam-Webster tells us: food and drink regularly provided or consumed. A life-long change in the way we eat—this is the only way to achieve long-term success and this is why so many programs fail.

A sensible program may be:

Find the program you will be able to stick to for the rest of your life. Changing your diet is hard, but once you’ve made the change it gets easier.

And Exercise?

This is a big topic and cannot be covered here in detail, but here are a few recommendations.

If you want to burn fat, increasing your activity is very important. There are programs that use as little as 10 minutes of walking a day and all the way up to hours of exercise.

  1. If you have not been regularly exercising and time is limited – get a pedometer and track your steps for a week. Take the average number of steps you take in a week and add 10%. If week 1 is 5000 steps, week 2 would be 5500 steps.
    How do you increase your steps without going to the gym and on limited time? Every time you go to a store park in the back of the lot, park in the back of the lot at work, take the stairs at work, take the long way to the bathroom at work, drink more water which will force you to get up more frequently, and walk for 5 minutes at lunch and after work.
  2. If you have been exercising regularly you may want to add High Intensity Training to your program. H.I.T. can be done with virtually any aerobic exercise, but we will use biking in this example. During your biking session you would do 1-7 intervals that last from 10-60 seconds where you pedal “all out,” then fully recover before you start the next one. The number of intervals and the length of the intervals will depend on your fitness level.

Be Well!

As with all diet and exercise plans, consult your doctor to make sure your heart is ready for exercise and you are on a “sensible” diet plan. The programs presented above are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional help and guidance.

For a consultation about weight loss, back pain, and more with a licensed healthcare professional, speak with a chiropractor at the Algonquin Chiropractic Center. We’re your go-to healthcare provider for joint and back pain in Algonquin, IL. Give us a call at (847) 854-2000 and schedule a consultation—we’re always here to help you be well!

Mention this article and receive complimentary consultation.

 

Our Mission – To educate and inform patients so you can make educated decisions to improve your health.
Algonquin Chiropractic Center
2210 Huntington Drive North
Algonquin, IL 60102
(847) 854-2000

Should You Trust the First Surgical Opinion?

Trusting your first surgical opinion…think again

According to the well-respected, Surgical Neurology International of 183 second opinions for spine surgery:

60.7% of recommendations were “unnecessary,”

33.3% of recommendations were “wrong,

and only 6% were “right.”

We are sharing this information with you to keep you informed, improve your health and well-being and help you understand critical health care information and how it impacts your health and your wallet. So what are the implications?

That is worse percentages than the weatherman!

Recommendations for low back surgery should not have such a high percentage of “unnecessary and wrong” Image of surgeon reaching for operation toolsrecommendations.

Did you ever notice that some people won’t go to the chiropractor because they don’t think it is “safe” but will not think twice about having surgery?

According to the Ohio Bureau of Workman Compensation database only 26% of patients having lumbar surgery are back to work.    However, 67% of patients that did not have surgery were back to work!

What odds do you like?

Consider safe and effective chiropractic care, Cox Technique, laser, modalities, massage, bracing, orthotics, nutrition and sensible exercise sound better that surgery, doesn’t it?

Remember health is a journey and not a destination. What you do in the practice of health care will go miles and pay dividends over time.

If you still feel that you are struggling in creating a healthy living plan, you will be thrilled to know that Dr. Galante has powerful programs that will teach you the specific steps that will help you to become and stay healthier.

Our Mission – To educate and inform patients so you can make educated decisions to improve your health.
Algonquin Chiropractic Center
2210 Huntington Drive North
Algonquin, IL 60102
(847) 854-2000

Why Chiropractic Care Is Essential in Sports Physicals

See the Difference a Chiropractic Exam Can Make for an Athlete!

Student athletes need to complete a “sports physical” periodically during their school years.  Athletes are screened for a variety of disease processes from diabetes to kidney disease to allergies and asthma and even Marfan’s syndrome.

This is very important to catch any serious health conditions early; however, the currently used mandatory preseason exams are too often more ceremonial than informative. This is because so many kids need to be examined in such brief periods of time. A cough here and a lean forward there…and it doesn’t take much for a kid to be labeled healthy.

The currently used exam looks primarily at potential “medical” conditions.  Although the structural component of the athlete (his or her musculo-skeletal system, or bio-mechanics) is the true at-risk system in sports, no one looks the musculo-skeletal system in a meaningful way at these preseason exams.Chiropractic Young Athlete

After the “sports physical” athletes will usually go back to their sport without a second thought.  The athlete was screened for a variety of illnesses, did not have any and was sent back out to participate in his sport.  The next day at practice the athlete suffers a torn ACL.  A devastating injury.

Who screened the athlete to see if he or she was prone to an ACL injury?  Was a screening done to prevent low back pain, ankle sprains, and pulled muscles?  These are injuries we hear about everyday but are never addressed BEFORE the injury occurs.

The healthcare crisis is not due to a lack of answers. And we don’t need more research. It’s due to a loss of logic, a lack of discipline, and too many people more concerned with the profits of healthcare at the expense of human quality of life.

We teach people to react instead of act. We teach them to basically do nothing until they’re broken. With high healthcare costs, human nature is to wait longer and hope their symptoms will miraculously disappear. The more time that goes by, the more wear and tear and degenerative changes take place in our bodies. This can create an irreversible scenario.

We also mistakenly look only at the site of the injury. Treating symptoms first is the norm, so we’ve fragmented the body into parts. In the orthopedic world, I often hear statements like “He’s the best hand guy” or “He’s the best shoulder guy.” He may be good with hands or shoulders, but all parts of the body are interconnected. Every part has some global influence over the other parts of the body. To only look at the site of injury is near-sighted and contributes greatly to long-term, increased costs.

Overall, in our current system the only goal is to eliminate symptoms. Whether we receive an injection, a bottle of ibuprofen, a small number of visits with a doctor of chiropractic care or a physical therapist, or any other palliative treatment, we’re taught that once the symptoms are gone, we should be “good to go.” This belief is so flawed. However, everything in our society pushes this reactive, symptom-only approach, from advertising and marketing that reminds us “You haven’t got time for the pain” to physicians who only know what to do when you’re broken. We have an insurance system that will pay only after we’re broken, which encourages us to react after we’re hurt instead of acting to stay healthy.

So how do we stay healthy and keep our athletes injury-free?

In chiropractic care, we realize the need for a different approach.

First we have to have an awareness that symptoms are a sign that something is broken and symptoms will subside before the broken piece is fixed.  What that means is pain is the last symptom to show up and the first one to go away.  We all know someone who was “perfectly healthy” and had a heart attack the next day.  That person had no symptoms, no pain, but the process that caused the heart attack has been in process for many years.  And that person was NOT healthy (even though he/she looked like it).  Musculo-skeletal problems are the same way: the abnormal bio-mechanics that caused the back pain in the first place have been evident for months or years before the pain started.

Based on what we just discussed, we need a new way to evaluate and prevent sports injuries.  We need a new way to assess bio-mechanics to prevent sports injuries, and we need a new approach to treatment to prevent sports injuries.

Tell me if you think this chiropractic exam is different from the “sports physicals” all our athletes get.

  • A postural exam
  • A cervical and lumbar spinal range of motion exam
  • A foot exam looking for imbalances that can lead to knee and back pain
  • Spinal orthopedic testing
  • A sensory exam, checking your nerve endings for sensitivity to pain and light touch
  • Deep tendon reflexes of the upper and lower extremity
  • Muscle testing of the upper extremities, shoulder blades, lower extremities, and glutes
  • A palpatory examine
  • A leg length exam which includes a leg measurement
  • If necessary, cervical and lumbar weight-bearing X-rays

This chiropractic exam is a little different from the old “turn your head and cough” exam!Teen Athletes

We then sit down with the athlete and parents and go over their individualized treatment plan.

The chiropractic treatment plan will include some or all of the following services we provide:

The combination of the above techniques has helped dozens of local athletes over the years to have less pain, improve function, and excel at their specific sport.  This chiropractic program is not sport specific, meaning we provide this program for athletes in all sports.  The rehab program will be sport specific.

What can you expect?

Symptomatic patients – With patients who are having pain we will focus on pain and inflammation reduction first, then when pain allows we add in the appropriate exercises, injury prevention program, and return to play.

Asymptomatic patients – With patients who are not having pain and come in to prevent future injuries, we will jump right in with manipulation, massage, vibration therapy, and rehab.

So, when the season for your sport is coming up, consider a physical with a chiropractic professional. The Algonquin Chiropractic Center is your destination for seeing a qualified doctor of chiropractic in Algonquin, IL, so give us a call and we’ll help you schedule an appointment.

Young athletes do very well on this program: less pain, less downtime, less risk of injury, more training, and more participation. All together, this will make for a happier athlete—and a happier parent!

Call for your consultation 847-854-2000.

Mention this article and receive $25 off your initial visit.

Our Mission – To educate and inform patients so you can make educated decisions to improve your health.

Algonquin Chiropractic Center
2210 Huntington Drive North
Algonquin, IL 60102
(847) 854-2000

Walnuts to Improve Brain Function?

Walnuts have been shown to improve memory, cognition and neuronal effects related to oxidative stress (OS) and inflammation (INF) in animals and human trials.

Dr. Galante and Algonquin Chiropractic Center is Committed to Helping You!

We are sharing this information with you to keep you informed, improve your health and well-being and help you understand critical health care information and how it impacts your health and your wallet. So what are the implications?

Walnut looks like the brain. The folds and wrinkles of a walnut resembles the brain. The shape of the nut even approximates the body part, looking like it has left and right hemispheres. And it’s no surprise walnuts are nicknamed “brain food”—they have a very high content of omega-3 fatty acids, which help support brain function.Walnuts Improve Brain Function by Algonquin Chiropractic Center

Walnuts develop over three dozen neuro-transmitters for brain function. They may also help head off dementia. A recent study found that walnut extract broke down the protein-based plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease. They found walnuts reversed some signs of brain aging in rats. Walnuts also appear to enhance signaling within the brain and encourage new messaging links between brain cells

Fibrillar amyloid beta-protein (Abeta) is the principal component of amyloid plaques in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Scientific studies suggest that walnuts may reduce the risk or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease by maintaining Abeta in the soluble form. Basically, walnuts had inhibited the protein from becoming solid. It is proposed that polyphenolic compounds (such as flavonoids) present in walnuts may be responsible for its “anti-amyloidogenic” activity.

What can you do in addition to eating walnuts?

According to the Mayo Clinic:

Evidence suggests that the same factors that put you at risk of heart disease also may increase the chance that you’ll develop Alzheimer’s.

Examples include:

Lack of exercise
Smoking
High blood pressure
High blood cholesterol
Elevated homocysteine levels
Poorly controlled diabetes
A diet lacking in fruits and vegetables

We can discuss many more options such as weight control, nutritional supplementation and beneficial fats because lifestyle management is crucial in preventing chronic degenerative diseases.

Remember health is a journey and not a destination. What you do in the practice of health care will go miles and pay dividends over time.
If you still feel that you are struggling in creating a healthy living plan, you will be thrilled to know that Algonquin Chiropractic Center has powerful programs that will teach you the specific steps that will help you to become and stay healthier.

Call for your consultation 847-854-2000.

Mention this article and receive $25 off your initial visit.

Our Mission – To educate and inform patients so you can make educated decisions to improve your health.
Algonquin Chiropractic Center
2210 Huntington Drive North
Algonquin, IL 60102
(847) 854-2000

Sleep and Be Well

*Sleep is increasingly recognized as important to public health, with sleep insufficiency linked to motor vehicle crashes, industrial disasters, and medical and other occupational errors.

*Unintentionally falling asleep, nodding off while driving, and having difficulty performing daily tasks because of sleepiness all may contribute to these hazardous outcomes.Sleep by Algonquin Chiropractic Center

*Persons experiencing sleep insufficiency are also more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity, as well as from cancer, increased mortality, and reduced quality of life and productivity.

We are sharing this information with you to keep you informed, improve your health and well-being and help you understand critical health care information and how it impacts your health and your wallet. So what are the implications?

In our society we tend to wear sleep deprivation as a “badge of honor,” as we now know good, quality sleep is essential for good health.

During sleep we progress thru Stages 1-5, with Stage 5 being REM sleep.  The first REM cycle starts about 90 minutes into sleep, each REM cycle gets longer as you sleep.  Most people require 4-5 periods of REM, without it you have a decrease in cognitive function and a decrease in the ability to learn complex tasks.

How do we get more quality sleep?  We cannot cover such a large topic in this space so here are a few tips.

1.  Get evaluated for sleep apnea, especially if you are a voracious snorer.

2. Control allergies, asthma, upper respiratory infections – difficulty breathing will make sleep difficult.

3. Try to keep bedtime and wake up time the same most days.

4. Control pain – it will be very difficult to get comfortable when you are in pain.  Ice, heat, heat patches, topical analgesics and sleep positions specific to your condition may be helpful.
5. Find a comfortable mattress, there is not one mattress that is right for everyone.

6. Keep your blood sugar steady with small, frequent, high protein meals throughout the day.
7.  Here are a couple links with sleep tips:

The Sleep Judge

Dr. Mercola

Be Well!
Remember health is a journey and not a destination. What you do in the practice of health care will go miles and pay dividends over time.
If you still feel that you are struggling in creating a healthy living plan, you will be thrilled to know that Dr. Galante has powerful programs that will teach you the specific steps that will help you to become and stay healthier.

Call for your consultation 847-854-2000.

Mention this article and receive $25 off your initial visit.

Our Mission – To educate and inform patients so you can make educated decisions to improve your health.

10 Ways to Breath Cleaner Air

Duke University researchers recently looked at changes in air quality and deaths from respiratory diseases between 1993 to 2010 and found a strong correlation between better air and fewer deaths.

Dr. Galante is Committed to Helping You!

We are sharing this information with you to keep you informed, improve your health and well-being and help you understand critical health care information and how it impacts your health and your wallet. So what are the implications?

Clean Air by Algonquin Chiropractic Center
Click for full-size PDF

Published in The International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, the study showed that when sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide decreased markedly month to month, so did deaths from emphysema, asthma and pneumonia.

Even after controlling for smoking and seasonal variations in respiratory death rates, the correlations remained.

“Even mild improvement in air quality will help reduce mortality from respiratory disease,” said Julia Kravchenko, the study’s lead author.

What can you do to breath cleaner air?

1.  Exercise in the morning before pollution levels rise from cars, factories, etc…

2. Consider a Whole-House Electronic Air Cleaner on your homes HVAC system, to trap 99% of airborne particles.

3.  Consider Ultraviolet Air Purifier in your home’s duct work to kill bacteria, viruses and fungi.

4.  Portable air cleaners are great for cleaning the air in smaller rooms.  Use a “Four Stage” Air Purifier.

5. Don’t idle your car in your attached garage, fumes will get into the house.

6.  Keep the humidity low, consider a dehumidifier in the basement.  Molds like to grow in higher humidity.

7.  If you have pets, groom and brush them frequently to remove excess hair, vacuum  frequently.

8.  Get your air ducts cleaned, especially if you have had work done in the house that causes dust or have pets.

9.  Change your cars cabin filter as needed.

10.  Grow real plants indoors!  They are the best air cleaner of all!

Remember health is a journey and not a destination. What you do in the practice of health care will go miles and pay dividends over time.

If you still feel that you are struggling in creating a healthy living plan, you will be thrilled to know that Dr. Galante has powerful programs that will teach you the specific steps that will help you to become and stay healthier.

Call for your consultation 847-854-2000.

Mention this article and receive $25 off your initial visit.

Our Mission – To educate and inform patients so you can make educated decisions to improve your health.

Visit us on Pinterest to view this infographic or our other infographics: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/530721137320390593/

Algonquin Chiropractic Center
2210 Huntington Drive North
Algonquin, IL 60102
(847) 854-2000

www.algchiro.com

Vitamin D – A Life Saver?

Have you checked your vitamin D status lately? It is a simple blood test.  Ideally, you want to maintain a vitamin D level of 40 to 60 ng/ml year-round. Based on mounting research, 40 ng/ml appears to be the “magic” number at which a whole host of health benefits are reaped.

Dr. Galante is Committed to Helping You!

We are sharing this information with you to keep you informed, improve your health and well-being and help you understand critical health care information and how it impacts your health and your wallet. So what are the implications?

As reported by Science Daily:

Cancer incidence declined with increased vitamin D. Women with vitamin D concentrations of 40 ng/ml or greater had a 67 percent lower risk of cancer than women with levels of 20 ng/ml or less.

Previous research found that a vitamin D level of 50 ng/ml was associated with a 50 percent lower risk of breast cancer.  Breast cancer patients with an average vitamin D level of 30 ng/ml were also twice as likely to survive compared to women with low levels (average 17 ng/ml).

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) reports an association between vitamin D and overall mortality risk (risk of death).   In one 54-month long study involving more than 422,800 healthy adults, those who were most deficient in vitamin D had an 88 percent increased risk of death from any cause.

How vitamin D worksVitamin D by Algonquin Chiropractic Center

The best understood role for vitamin D is in the control of how your body uses calcium and phosphorus to make strong bones. However, research is showing that many organs and systems in your body may also need active vitamin D.

Active vitamin D works by entering cells and attaching to a protein called the vitamin D receptor, located in the nucleus of cells, where the genetic material is located. This combination of vitamin D and its receptor stimulates the cell to make proteins that regulate the way the body works.

For example, some of the proteins produced in response to vitamin D in the intestine help transport calcium across the intestine and into the bloodstream, greatly increasing the absorption of calcium from the diet. The vitamin D receptor is found in several cells that are critical for controlling the metabolism of calcium, phosphorus, and bone, intestinal cells, bone cells, kidney cells, and parathyroid gland cells.

Vitamin D receptors also are present in most other tissues, including the brain, heart, skin, ovary and testicle, prostate gland, and breast, as well as the cells of the immune system, including white blood cells and other key immune cells.

What is your vitamin D level?Sunshine by Algonquin Chiropractic Center

A study published in the March 23, 2009, issue of “Archives of Internal Medicine” reports that three out of four Americans may be suffering from vitamin D deficiency with certain ethnic and racial groups at higher risk. Adit Ginde, M.D., an assistant professor at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine, says the results of the study suggest that more Americans may need to increase their vitamin D intake to improve their health.

How do you raise vitamin D levels?

Diet – Include more foods in your diet that have vitamin D. Although an important step, it might be the most difficult because there are only a few food sources that are naturally rich in vitamin D, including liver, egg yolks, cod liver oil and seafood such as trout, tuna, salmon, sardines and mackerel.

Drink milk and orange juice, which are fortified with vitamin D. Other fortified foods include margarine, breakfast cereals and some cheeses. According to a Vitamin D Foods by Algonquin Chiropractic CenterNational Institutes of Health Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet, fortified foods provide most of a person’s dietary sources of vitamin D.

We can see from the statistics above that three out of four Americans may be deficient in vitamin D so diet may be a difficult way to maintain adequate vitamin D levels.

Sun Exposure – The dermatologists have brainwashed society into thinking complete sun avoidance is the only way to avoid melanoma or skin cancer.  As you read above, adequate vitamin D levels are crucial to prevent chronic diseases, including cancer.

Unless you have skin cancer, try this: get 10 minutes of sun exposure two to three times each week exposing about 25 percent of the skin’s surface. Exposing just your hands and face to sunlight may help you to maintain adequate levels of vitamin D.

Sun by Algonquin Chiropractic CenterSun exposure is not a guarantee of adequate vitamin D levels and exposure is inconsistent depending on where you live, time of year, your schedule, etc…

Dark skin absorbs less sunlight, so people with dark skin do not get as much vitamin D from sun exposure as do light-skinned people.

Supplements – Are probably the most reliable way to get the same dosage every day, with diet and sun exposure you don’t really know how much you are getting.

How much should you take?  Recommendations vary from 200 IU to 20,000 IU per day!  This is something you should discuss with your doctor and depends on many factors such as your current vitamin D levels, where you live, sun exposure, time of year, compliance and other factors.

The Vitamin D Council — a scientist-led group promoting vitamin D deficiency awareness — suggests vitamin D treatment might be found helpful in treating or preventing autism, autoimmune disease, cancer, chronic pain, depression, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, flu, neuromuscular diseases, and osteoporosis.  However, clinical trials have not been performed.

Interactions with Medications

Vitamin D supplements have the potential to interact with several types of medications. A few examples are provided Vitamins by Algonquin Chiropractic Centerbelow. Individuals taking these medications on a regular basis should discuss vitamin D intakes with their healthcare providers.

Steroids

Corticosteroid medications such as prednisone, often prescribed to reduce inflammation, can reduce calcium absorption and impair vitamin D metabolism. These effects can further contribute to the loss of bone and the development of osteoporosis associated with their long-term use.

Other medications

Both the weight-loss drug orlistat (brand names Xenical® and alliTM) and the cholesterol-lowering drug cholestyramine (brand names Questran®, LoCholest®, and Prevalite®) can reduce the absorption of vitamin D and other fat-soluble vitamins. Both phenobarbital and phenytoin (brand name Dilantin®), used to prevent and control epileptic seizures, increase the hepatic metabolism of vitamin D to inactive compounds and reduce calcium absorption.  Discuss with your doctor.

What to Do

As we see, vitamin D may be a very important tool in treating and preventing a variety of conditions; however, few clinical trials can back this up.

So, get your levels tested, get sensible amount of sun exposure, eat a good diet with vitamin D rich foods, decide on a good dosage of vitamin D with your doctor and BE WELL!

Remember health is a journey and not a destination. What you do in the practice of health care will go miles and pay dividends over time.

If you still feel that you are struggling in creating a healthy living plan, you will be thrilled to know that Dr. Galante has powerful programs that will teach you the specific steps that will help you to become and stay healthier.

Call for your consultation 847-854-2000.

Mention this article and receive $25 off your initial visit.

Our Mission – To educate and inform patients so you can make educated decisions to improve your health.
Algonquin Chiropractic Center
2210 Huntington Drive North
Algonquin, IL 60102
(847) 854-2000

www.algchiro.com

Was Mom Right About Posture?

How posture can effect your life? The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences reports people with a “flexed” posture (being bent over at the waist) “is associated with becoming dependent on help for activities of daily living (ADL). These activities include such basic self-care tasks as bathing, feeding, toileting, maintaining continence, dressing, and transferring in or out of a bed or chair.” Researchers came to this conclusion after studying over 800 patients aged 65 or older.

Dr. Galante is Committed to Helping You!

We are sharing this information with you to keep you informed, improve your health and well-being and help you understand critical health care information and how it impacts your health and your wallet. So what are the implications?

We see people with “flexed” postures everywhere, look in the grocery stores and watch people walking hunched over a cart. We now have evidence that these people will have higher levels of disability as they age. How do you prevent this posture?

  1. We tend to move in the same movement patterns every day. We get in a routine of working, playing and exercising with the same movements. So how do we break out of these movement patterns?  Yoga, swimming and stretching are great ways to increase flexibility.
  1. There are specific muscle stretches that are helpful with posture such as the pectoral stretch, shoulder stretch in external rotation, hip flexor stretch and others.
  1. Try this – Sit on an exercise ball, walk your feet out and lay back on the ball so your tailbone and head are resting on the ball. With your arms relaxed out to the side, slowly roll back and forth keeping your tailbone and head on the ball at all times. This can be difficult at first, be sure to get proper assistance if needed.
  1. Strengthening your scapular (shoulder blade) muscles, core muscles and lumbar stabilizer muscles help keep the body in proper alignment.

Posture is one of the most common problems we work on in our clinic. Almost all of our postures can improve. Bad Posture by Algonquin Chiropractic Center

Posture is one of the most important factors in chronic pain, if your posture is poor the body has to compensate for that all day long.  In time, the body’s compensatory mechanisms will break down resulting in pain and disability.

Remember, when we see a 75-year-old person walking bent over at the waist they did not get that way in the last 3 months, most of the time their posture has been slowly getting worse for many, many years. Fix it now and you will have less problems down the road!

Like your mom told you, “Sit up straight!”

Remember health is a journey and not a destination. What you do in the practice of health care will go miles and pay dividends over time.
If you still feel that you are struggling in creating a healthy living plan, you will be thrilled to know that Dr. Galante has powerful programs that will teach you the specific steps that will help you to become and stay healthier.

Call for your consultation 847-854-2000.

Mention this article and receive $25 off your initial visit.

Our Mission – To educate and inform patients so you can make educated decisions to improve your health.
Algonquin Chiropractic Center
2210 Huntington Drive North
Algonquin, IL 60102
(847) 854-2000

www.algchiro.com

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