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Chiropractic Care gives great importance to a healthy and balanced diet. A lot of ailments and diseases can be avoided just by adhering to a proper diet. A good diet can help a person to lead a long, healthy life, control weight, blood pressure and heart rate.
It is a fact that Americans are overfed, while being undernourished. Scores of fast food chains have made unhealthy eating habits a part of the American lifestyle. Such high cholesterol foods coupled with a sedentary lifestyle can lead to obesity. With obesity come a lot of complications including heart diseases and blood pressure problems.
There is no doubt that a well-balanced diet consists of a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, a reduction in caffeine intake and saturated fats.
A chiropractor may recommend one of the following diets based on your body’s needs:
High Protein Diet
A high protein diet is recommended for those who aim to build muscles without accumulating too much fat. High protein foods include:
- Turkey breast
- Cheese (low fat varieties)
- Beef (low fat)
A heart healthy diet usually consists of a lot of vegetables and fruits along with large intakes of whole grains. It may also contain low-fat meats, including fish and poultry. Special emphasis should be given to fish as it is a very healthy source of protein, Omega 3 and little fat.
Following combination of fruits and vegetables are extremely nutritious and a healthy choice for heart-healthy dieters:
A vegetarian diet can be recommended for those who prefer to lead a meat-free lifestyle, for whatever the reason. Several types of diets are based on vegetarianism:
Lacto-Vegetarian: These diets include no meat of any kind or eggs. However they do include dairy products like butter, milk, cheese and yogurt.
Ovo -Vegetarian: This diet contains no red meat, seafood, poultry or even dairy products, however it does include eggs.
Vegan: The strictest of all, excludes all meats, fish, eggs and dairy products.
Flexitarian: As its name implies, this diet is flexible. It mainly consists of vegetables and fruits, with occasional consumption of meat, fish or poultry.
No matter which diet is recommended by a chiropractor or dietician, a balanced lifestyle that includes plenty of activities can go a long way in extending the life of a person.
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Spondylolysis is one of many conditions that chiropractic practices have to deal with. The condition occurs due to a weakness in the section of the vertebrae that is known as pas interaticularis. This is a thin piece of bone that is responsible for connecting the lower and upper portion of the facet joints. These join in the vertebrae’s upper and lower section to form a comprehensive network of bone that allows the spine to move.
The defect can lead to small fractures in the spine that cause certain vertebrae to slip out of place.
Some chiropractic practices say that Spondylolysis is a hereditary disease especially considering infants who are born with a thin vertebrae, a condition that puts them at a higher risk for fractures. Repetitive trauma to the lower back may also cause the pars interarticularis to weaken over time.
Those who have spondylolysis do not experience any symptoms and which is exactly why they might not be aware of it once it does occur. Low back pain is the most common symptom once the pain from the condition spreads. It feels like a muscle in the lower back has been sprained and usually gets worse with exercise or activity. It can also occur during a teenager’s growth spurt after puberty which is why the typical age of a person who acquires the condition is usually between 15 to 16 years.
The condition usually occurs in 3 to 4% of the population and is the most common cause of lower back pain in children or people below the age of 26. Spondylolysis is more common in kids or teenagers who take part in vigorous activities that over extend their spines such as weightlifting, gymnastics and football.
The condition calls for a more conservative approach. Chiropractic care of Spondylolysis would aim to reduce the pain, let the fracture heal and help return the patient to normal activities. Patients are also advised to refrain from any vigorous physical activities such as exercise or sports to help them heal faster. Treatments for severe cases often involve the use of a back brace or support which helps stabilize the back and prevent lower back pain to aid the healing process.
The condition might not be preventable in some cases however certain steps can be taken to reduce the risk of fractures in the lower back.
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The human body has 29 core muscles located in the back, abdomen and pelvis regions. They help to give a person a stable center of gravity, while helping in controlling movements, supporting whole of the back and giving out a semblance of stability.
These core muscles form the foundation on which the movement of the body is based. Strong core muscles tend to resist injury and form a protective cushion for the whole spinal column.
However, weak core muscles can cause a person to develop a poor posture, pain all over the body, and make the individual more prone to injuries from everyday activities.
Exercise on a regular basis can make these muscles stronger, but it is necessary to get the posture right before getting on with the exercises.
Good posture not only makes a person look attractive, but it does wonders for the overall skeletal structure. Chiropractic practice pays a lot of attention to proper posture. Correct posture will ensure that a person’s muscles, organs along with joints and bones are in their correct, natural positions.
A bad posture can result in a lot of problems for the body, following are examples of a poor posture:
- Drooping shoulders
- Head or neck held forward
- Lower back arching too much
- Sitting with a wallet in the back pocket
- Phone receiver being held between neck and shoulder
- Drooping forward while sitting
These postures must always be avoided.
The person should lie on the back with knees bent. Then the abdominal muscles should be contracted while the person slowly raises the hips off the floor then holding the position for around 10 seconds.
The hips should then be lowered to the floor and the same method repeated again.
The person should get down on their hands and knees while keeping the head and neck aligned with their back. The core muscles are then contracted; one arm raised meanwhile raising the opposite leg.
The person should lie on their stomach with the palms facing down. They should then slowly start to rise off the floor while resting on toes and elbows. The back should be kept as flat as possible, core muscles in a contracted position and held for at least 12 seconds before lowering themselves to the floor.
In this exercise, the individual is to lie on the back with their knees bent and the feet should be flat on the floor. While keeping the shoulders flat on the floor, they should let their knees fall slowly towards the left. After returning the legs back to the original starting point, the same action should be repeated.
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According to a study conducted in the state of New York, chiropractors were asked if they used any nutritional counseling in their treatments, which not just includes back problems, but also obesity, artery diseases, diabetes and a variety of other diseases affecting the human body.
Around 80 percent of those surveyed stated that they did use some form of nutritional counseling in their treatments, which gives an overview of the importance of proper diet in chiropractic. 50 percent of those who used nutritional counseling considered it to be a very important part of the chiropractic therapy.
The Link between Chiropractics and Diet
Chiropractic therapy treats numerous ailments, such as inflammation in the lower back or autoimmune anomalies like arthritis, scoliosis, neuritis or osteoarthritis. Research suggests that dietary changes can affect inflammation, which in turn can reduce the symptoms and pain caused by it. Also, most chiropractic patients are women, other symptoms that they may suffer from, such as menopause and premenstrual syndromes, can also be cured by proper diet and nutrition.
Not only that, but a proper diet can also help prevent spinal diseases from developing. As obesity is one of the most common causes of back problems, eating healthy non-fat foods can make a person less prone to spinal diseases like Sciatica.
There are numerous benefits in keeping a healthy diet, including increased energy, lower blood pressure and improved cognition, which result in a speedy recovery. Health foods such as low sugar whole grains, fruits and vegetables also reduce the risk of spinal tumors and cancer.
Improper nutrition, such as an excess of salts in the diet, can result in several other diseases as well, including high blood pressure. There is a direct link established between diabetes and excess Carbohydrates in the diet.
As dietary needs differ from individual to individual, you can ask your chiropractor to make a nutritional plan for you to follow according to your needs. A chiropractor could assess the nature of your ailment and devise a dietary schedule specifically suited to treat your condition.
Image Used under Creative Commons license. Photo Credit: Fruit & Vegetable Box by Ali Karimian