chiropractor in leland nc

Chiropractor in Leland NC: Benefits of Copper

Like some of the other essential dietary minerals, copper is needed only in trace amounts for your body to function properly. Nevertheless, copper is vital to many of the body’s functions, so it is important to ensure that you are not copper deficient (which is actually quite rare). Since the human body cannot synthesize copper on its own, it must be absorbed by the body from the food we eat. Our Chiropractor in Leland NC explains more.

Copper combines with protein to produce enzymes that spur a wide range of bodily functions. It plays a key role in energy production, supports the brain and central nervous system, and helps in the creation and metabolism of neurotransmitters. It also is important in the formation of connective tissue (including that of the heart and blood vessels) and plays a part in bone formation. It is necessary for proper iron metabolism and the healthy formation of red blood cells. It is also responsible for the production of melanin, the pigment that gives color to the skin, eyes and hair. Copper acts as an antioxidant and is important for a healthy immune system.

As mentioned earlier, copper deficiency is relatively uncommon. However, some people are more prone to a deficiency than others. This includes those who have cystic fibrosis, severely restricted diets, or problems with absorption through the gut (such as individuals with celiac disease). Infants and the elderly are also more prone to copper deficiency. Infants may be more at risk they have been fed only cow’s milk formula (cow’s milk is very low in copper).

The recommended daily intake of copper is as follows:
Infants, birth to 6 months: 200 mcg/day
Infants, 7 – 12 months: 220 mcg/day
Children, 1 – 3 years: 340 mcg/day
Children, 4 – 8 years: 440 mcg/day
Children, 9 – 13 years: 700 mcg/day
Adolescents, 14 – 18 years: 890 mcg/day
Adults, 19 years and older: 900 mcg/day
Pregnant women: 1,000 mcg/day
Breastfeeding women: 1,300 mcg/day

Being deficient in copper can contribute to anemia and osteoporosis as well as a variety of other health problems. However, having too much copper in your system can actually be toxic. Signs of copper toxicity include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain that can eventually lead to kidney and liver failure, coma and death. Taking high amounts of zinc can lower copper levels that have become too high.
Children should get the copper they need from their diet rather than from supplements. Adults who are considering taking a copper supplement should consult with their doctor before doing so, since it is important not to get too much copper, and it must have a proper balance with zinc. Foods rich in copper include liver, nuts (particularly cashews, almonds and Brazil nuts), seeds, legumes, clams and oysters.

If you need a chiropractor in Leland NC contact us today.

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Chiropractor Wilmington NC: Chiropractic Care and Beach Volleyball

For a sport with a relatively short history (it began in Southern California in the 1930s), beach volleyball has become immensely popular in the U.S. and around the world. So much so that the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) was founded in 1983 to promote the sport and its athletes, and it became an official sport of the Olympic Games in 1996. Our Chiropractor Wilmington NC explains more.

The AVP has always recognized that playing on an uneven surface puts a great deal of strain on the bodies of even well-conditioned athletes. So in order to help reduce the risk of injury and prolong players’ careers, the AVP hired a chiropractor named Tim Brown as its first Director of Sports Medicine. Another chiropractic physician named G. Douglas Andersen took over this role a couple of years later. It has become standard practice for a team chiropractor, along with all the necessary adjusting equipment, to accompany the team across the country to each competition on the AVP tour.

Chiropractor Allen M. Manison regularly works with beach volleyball players. He says, “When one considers volleyball injuries, usually the shoulder is the region that gets blamed most. This makes sense as we usually envision volleyball players ‘spiking’ the ball. The rotator cuff and other structures of the shoulder take a beating from the high force and movement that is required of the shoulder.” However, other parts of the body are prone to injury as well. Manison says “I have seen more neck, knee, hip, low back, toe, foot, ankle, and elbow injuries than I would’ve ever imagined! Shoulder injuries are actually about half of the way down on the list of injuries.”

Manison continued, “The beach volleyball game involves tremendous stresses on the body. First, it’s two people per each side of the net, so each athlete has to cover large areas in very short periods of time. Second, the athletes are throwing their bodies around in sand, which certainly does not help with movement. Third, although the sand gives way, the athletes are barefoot and are not getting lots of support for the aggressive maneuvers they are making while they play. Fourth, there is sometimes very little rest as winning teams need to keep playing, and without enough rest and recovery, the risk for injury is increased.”

April Ross, a US Olympic Team beach volleyball player, appreciated the benefits of growing up with chiropractic in her home. She said, “I’ve worked with a lot of chiropractors in my career as a professional beach volleyball player and I grew up having one as my dad, so I think my standards are pretty high! … It’s always pleasant going in for an adjustment. I get a lot of whiplash diving around in the sand and as long as I get in regularly to see [her chiropractor] Dr. Callotta I’m able to deal with it so that I can continue to compete. I don’t know what I would do without her. Now that I am heading to the Olympics I’m counting on her to keep me healthy and ready to win the gold!” (Editor’s note: She did win a silver medal!)

Lisa Rutledge, a professional beach volleyball player had this to say about her chiropractor: “I see Dr. J for chiropractic work about 2 to 3 times a week, and honestly, if I could go more, I would. I play beach volleyball and it takes a serious toll on your body. I’m traveling all over the world – I’m going to Moscow, to Rome, to Korea – and 20-hour flights are not fun. So when I get back my body is just out of alignment, it feels weird, it just doesn’t feel right. So as soon as I get off the plane I book my appointment with Dr. J and I get my adjustment and I feel 100 times better. It really does wonders for your body.”

If you need a Wilmington NC chiropractor, contact us today.

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Wilmington NC Chiropractor: Potassium Benefits

As the third most common mineral in the body, potassium is responsible for supporting a wide range of bodily activities. Without sufficient potassium, the heart, brain, kidneys and muscles would not function properly. However, the Western diet’s preponderance of processed foods has created a population with a growing risk of potassium deficiency. Our Wilmington NC Chiropractor explains more.

Potassium is an electrolyte that is crucial to the body’s electrical circuitry so that proper signals are conducted to and from the brain and between cells. It works in conjunction with the minerals sodium, calcium, chloride and magnesium. Simply moving a muscle requires potassium. Potassium helps to regulate the heart, which is triggered by potassium to contract, squeezing blood through the body a hundred thousand times each day.

In addition to keeping our muscles and heart in good working condition, potassium is also responsible for healthy bone maintenance, protecting against osteoporosis, reducing high blood pressure, lowering cholesterol and helping the kidneys to filter blood. It can also reduce feelings of stress and anxiety and keeps the body’s water levels balanced.

The recommended daily intake of potassium is as follows:
Infants birth – 6 months: 400 mg/day
Infants 7 – 12 months: 700 mg/day
Children 1 -3 years: 3,000 mg/day
Children 4 – 8 years: 3,800 mg/day
Children 9 – 13 years: 4,500 mg/day
Adolescents and Adults 19 years and older: 4,700 mg/day
Breastfeeding women: 5,100 mg/day

Most Americans are potassium deficient. “Relying on convenience and restaurant foods and not eating enough fruits and vegetables is why so many people don’t get enough potassium. Fresh and lightly processed foods, including dairy and meat, have the most potassium,” according to registered dietitian, Marla Heller.

An excess of sodium in the diet (which is common among Americans) can increase the amount of potassium you need. Others at risk of potassium deficiency (hypokalemia) are those who experience diarrhea, vomiting, malabsorption syndromes (such as Crohn’s disease) and excessive sweating. Alcoholics, smokers, drug users, athletes (or anyone who uses their muscles excessively), and those who use diuretics are also prone to hypokalemia. Symptoms include irregular heartbeat, muscle cramps, irritability, chronic diarrhea, weakness and stomach problems.

Food sources abundant in potassium are meat, poultry, fish (cod, salmon, and flounder), dairy products, legumes and fruits and vegetables (particularly bananas, citrus, avocados, tomatoes, potatoes and green leafy vegetables such as Swiss chard). Cooking destroys potassium, so try to eat potassium-rich foods either raw or minimally cooked (lightly steamed or roasted).

If you need a Wilmington NC chiropractor, contact us today.

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Chiropractor, Wilmington NC: A Close Up On Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis (pronounced “plan-tar fash-ee-EYE-tis”) is also sometimes referred to as a heel spur. It’s a debilitating and painful condition that can make walking even a short distance difficult. The discomfort—ranging from mild to severe—is typically most pronounced near the bottom of the heel, usually toward the front, though it may also extend across the entire bottom of the foot. Plantar Fasciitis is usually at its worst first thing in the morning after you get out of bed and walk a few steps, or when you stand up after sitting for an extended period. Our Chiropractor, Wilmington NC explains more. 

What exactly is plantar fasciitis?

The plantar fascia is a thick band of very tough, fibrous tissue that extends from the heel bone to the base of the toes and supports the arch of the foot. When this ligament develops micro-tears, pulls away from the heel bone or becomes inflamed, pain and bone spurs can result. The muscles in the foot may also be involved, especially if the pain occurs after long periods of standing or from chronic overwork, which causes the muscles to shorten, making them less resilient and more susceptible to micro-trauma. 

What causes plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis can occur for a wide variety of reasons and it’s frequently difficult to isolate any one specific cause. That said, here are some of the primary culprits:   

  • Standing for long periods of time
  • Wearing shoes with little support
  • Having flat feet
  • Having exceptionally high arches
  • Being overweight
  • A sudden increase in activity
  • Repetitive stress
  • Tight calf muscles
  • Overpronation (walking on the outsides of your feet)
  • Aging 

What can be done?

Unfortunately, recovery from plantar fasciitis usually takes time and is prone to setbacks. However, there are some things you can do to help ease the pain and speed the healing process.

Rest the foot as much as possible. Applying ice to the area can help reduce the inflammation, as can taking an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen. Many people with plantar fasciitis find it helpful to wear Birkenstocks or other shoes that have good arch support. Custom foot orthotics and heal cups can also provide some relief. At night, wearing a boot that gently stretches the plantar fascia, Achilles tendon and calf muscles (not allowing the foot and toes to point) can help reduce morning symptoms. If you work in an office environment, rolling a baseball or lacrosse ball beneath the arch of your foot while sitting at your desk can help achieve the same thing during the day.       

In the long-run, it’s important to address the cause of the problem so that it doesn’t become chronic or recurring. Fortunately, your chiropractor can help in that regard. Chiropractic physicians are experts at treating a wide variety of musculoskeletal problems—not only those that affect the back and neck, but also those that affect the extremities. To treat plantar fasciitis, your chiropractor may use a combination of therapies, including manipulation/mobilization, stretching, cold laser, and ultrasound. He or she may also recommend custom orthotics and useful exercises that you can do at home to gently stretch tight muscles and tendons. Since one common cause of plantar fasciitis is overpronation, a series of chiropractic adjustments can ensure your bones are properly aligned, allowing for greater range of motion and helping to take some of the strain off the overworked muscles and connective tissues in your feet.

Healing plantar fasciitis is a slow process that may take weeks or months. However, with good chiropractic care, conscientious at-home treatment and proper shoes, it doesn’t have to become a chronic or recurring condition. Have any questions? Please call or visit our office today! We’re always happy to help!

To schedule a free consultation, contact our Chiropractor, Wilmington NC today.

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Chiropractor, Wilmington NC: Summertime Grilling and Your Health

For many people, summertime just isn’t summertime without a barbecue! It’s a generations-old cultural phenomenon that combines three things American families love—food, family and fun! Unfortunately, though, there are also some potential downsides to grilling when it comes to your health. This article presents a quick overview of the risks and offers some advice to help make grilling a little bit safer for you and your family this summer. Our Chiropractor, Wilmington NC explains more.

What’s unhealthy about grilling?

The first issue has to do with HOW the food is actually cooked. Grilling meat or fish over high heat produces carcinogens known as heterocyclic amines (HCAs), which have been linked to increased risk of various cancers. The second issue has to do with WHAT KINDS of food many people choose to grill. Many of the most popular foods for grilling can be high in fat and sodium and have little other nutritional value. With these two issues in mind, here are some tips on how you can enjoy healthier grilling all summer long.

Clean the grill. You don’t want to incorporate rancid grease and the charred buildup from previous barbecues into your meat before you’ve even begun cooking it. Use a sturdy wire scrub brush and warm soapy water to scrape any residue from the grill’s surface, both before and after you grill. This will also greatly improve the flavor of your food!

Use a low flame and cook briefly. When direct flames touch the meat it can add to the HCAs produced. To reduce these HCAs, keep the gas flame low or, if you’re using charcoal, wait until the coals have been reduced to glowing embers. The heat will still be sufficient, but will not be as likely to char the meat. Try not to overcook your food, as overdone meat has more HCAs. Discard any charred parts.

Flip burgers often. To reduce the chances of E. coli contamination in your ground beef, be sure to flip your burgers every 30 seconds or so. The USDA advises that you cook burgers to an internal temperature of at least 160°F to kill any possible bacteria. However, if you are someone who thinks that a burger cooked beyond medium-rare is a travesty, buy a cut of beef and grind it yourself and form your patties just before grilling. Or, if it is commercially prepared, be sure to flip your burgers often. A study found that when two burgers were cooked to the same temperature, the one flipped more often had a fifth of the E. coli. 

Pre-treat your meat. To allow you to cook your meat for a shorter time while still retaining flavor and tenderness, consider marinating it first.  A marinade will tenderize the meat, and by using some flavorful spices in the marinade or in a dry rub, you can add a host of antioxidants to your meal that will reduce the production of HCAs. Researchers from Kansas State University found that marinating meat reduced carcinogens by 57 to 88 percent. Red wine, ginger, turmeric, rosemary and garlic are among the great-tasting, cancer-fighting ingredients you can include in a marinade.  And by combining two parts onion, two parts garlic and one part lemon juice in your marinade, you can reduce HCAs by 70%, as some researchers in Germany have found.

Choose healthier meat. Grass-fed organic meat is a far healthier choice than conventionally raised meat. Compared with conventionally raised meat, organic grass-fed beef and chicken are lower in saturated fat and cholesterol and higher in omega-3 and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), which has been shown to reduce cholesterol and abdominal fat. It is also free from hormones and antibiotics.

Go veggie. Though meat is certainly tasty, grilled vegetables are delicious too, and vegetarian versions of burgers and hot dogs have come a long way from their early roots, when they had all the flavor of foam peanuts or confetti. Fortunately, there are now a host of excellent veggie “meats” on the market that don’t force you to sacrifice good taste for good health. And there’s nothing quite like grilled red peppers, tomatoes, asparagus, mushrooms, zucchini and onions. A good way to grill veggies is to cut them up into small chunks and put them on skewers. You’ll get a healthy serving of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in each bite. And topping your burger with some slices of avocado will give it a nutrition boost as well as a taste boost. Its mono and polyunsaturated fats have been shown to reduce cholesterol and can be a good substitute for mayonnaise.

To schedule a free consultation, contact our Chiropractor, Wilmington NC today.

Neck Pain Wilmington NC: Chiro and Massage

Chiropractic physicians are experts in diagnosing and treating disorders that affect the musculoskeletal and nervous systems. They are specially trained to identify and correct structural misalignment and imbalances in the back, neck and joints that can cause a variety of health problems. The techniques that chiropractors use to accomplish this are typically referred to as adjustments, manipulation or mobilization. Our neck pain Wilmington NC specialist explains more.

Depending on the situation, it may also be necessary or useful for patients to receive therapeutic massage—either before or after a chiropractic adjustment—as part of a well-designed treatment plan. This is because the body’s bones are surrounded by soft tissues—muscles, tendons, ligaments and cartilage—that can contribute to pain and loss of function and that can also make chiropractic adjustments more difficult and less effective under some circumstances. Massage therapy can often be helpful in accelerating the body’s healing processes and in relaxing tight muscles. Our neck pain Wilmington NC chiropractor offers massage.

In the simplest terms, chiropractors work with bones and massage therapists work with soft tissues. But as treatment modalities, they are compatible and complementary. This combination of treatments often produces a more comfortable patient experience as well as superior results. Massage is often recommended as a preparation for a chiropractic adjustment because it relieves the muscle tension that may be pulling joints out of alignment and makes it easier to move them back into place. Massage is also relaxing, and a relaxed body is easier for the chiropractor to work with. In addition, as the chiropractor corrects the structural problems that are causing pain or limiting your mobility, massage can complement the healing process by stretching and relaxing muscles that have been aggravated by these structural problems, making it easier for you to stretch and exercise, and thus more quickly achieve a state of normal well-being.

Many chiropractors work hand-in-hand with massage therapists because their treatment modalities are so complementary. Patients who are working with massage therapists to address soft tissue problems but find that their symptoms persist are frequently referred to chiropractic physicians for further diagnosis and treatment. At the same time, chiropractic patients usually find that their treatment proceeds faster and with less discomfort when the soft tissue has been relaxed with massage. Recovery—especially from musculoskeletal conditions that cause pain and limit mobility—is normally faster and more complete when the underlying causes are addressed holistically, with the chiropractor working to resolve the structural problems and the massage therapist working to resolve the soft tissue problems. Chiropractors and massage therapists who work together collaborate to find the proper combination of chiropractic adjustments and massage to achieve your health and wellness goals as quickly as possible.

Chiropractic and massage therapy are holistic treatment modalities that share a common goal of treating the whole body, helping you to achieve a state of optimal health and well-being without resorting to drugs or surgery. Both focus on trying to resolve the underlying cause of your pain or discomfort rather than simply treating isolated symptoms. Used together, they can be a powerful combination!

If you or someone you care about is suffering from musculoskeletal problems, we encourage you to call or visit our office today. Our neck pain Wilmington NC specialist is always happy to discuss our overall approach as well as the treatment options we provide.

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Chiropractor Wilmington NC: Menopause and Bone Density

The natural decrease in estrogen associated with menopause can cause many health conditions in women after about the age of 45 (Most women reach menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, but it may also occur much earlier or later.). Unfortunately, bone loss is one of them. In more serious cases, bone loss can lead to osteoporosis, a condition that is associated with low-density, brittle bones. This is why post-menopausal women are actually at a higher risk for fractures, especially of the wrist, hip, and spine. Our chiropractor Wilmington NC explains more.

Menopause is triggered by the decrease of estrogen and progesterone produced in the body. Post-menopausal women between the ages of 45 and 55 can lose an average of two to three percent of their bone density each year, with some women losing up to 20 percent of their bone mass in the first five to seven years following menopause. This can lead to chronic aches and pains as well as increased risk of bone fractures.

Menopause may also cause a condition called osteopenia, or low bone mass, which is a reduction of bone mass below the normal range, but not low enough to be in the range of osteoporosis. This is defined by the World Health Organization to be about 10 to 25 percent below the normal value found in a 30-year-old woman (Most women’s bone mass peaks at around age 30). At 30 percent below, the diagnosis of osteoporosis kicks in. The World Health Organization recommends patients with osteopenia be further evaluated using various clinical risk factors regarding the need for intervention and therapy such as medication to reduce the risk of fractures.

Since osteopenia and osteoporosis cannot be felt or seen, they are sometimes referred to as “silent diseases”. However, a bone density test can help you and your doctor determine if you need treatment. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, “A bone density test shows the amount of bone a person has in the hip, spine, or other bones. It is routinely recommended for postmenopausal women and men age 50 and older and is how osteoporosis is diagnosed in older people. Bone density tests are usually only done for premenopausal women if they break several bones easily or break bones that are unusual for their age, such as bones in the hip or spine.”

Hormone therapy can be valuable for the inhibition of osteoporosis and incapacitating hip and spine fractures in post-menopausal women. Hormone replacement therapy, or estrogen therapy, decreases hip fractures by 33 to 36 percent. While estrogen therapy is approved for osteoporosis and fracture reduction, it’s important to understand that hormone therapy has its own risks and isn’t appropriate for everyone. This is why hormone therapy is no longer routinely recommended for most women solely for this purpose. Large studies have shown that women using hormone replacement therapy may be at an elevated risk of blood clots, stroke, and breast cancer.

The good news for women-pre-menopausal, menopausal and post-menopausal-is that there are lifestyle choices and healthcare interventions that can help increase bone density and delay or prevent osteopenia or osteoporosis.
Of course, earlier is better when it comes to building bone mass. The more bone mass you have when you reach menopause, the lower your risk. In this regard, diet and exercise are the keys to success:

* Calcium intake of 1,200 to 1,500 milligrams a day and vitamin D intake of 1,000 to 2,000 international units daily (IU/day) can help prevent bone loss and preserve bone density.

* Moderate alcohol use of three or more glasses daily is associated with osteoporosis, so keep that in mind when you are trying to mitigate the effects of menopause on your bone density.

* Avoid smoking. This should go without saying.

* Exercise can help to moderate the physical and emotional effects of menopause. It is well-documented that moderate-impact and weight-bearing exercises build bone mass. In addition, aerobic exercise can reduce the risk of heart disease, another health condition that becomes more prevalent after menopause.

 

If you need a chiropractor Wilmington NC, please contact our office

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Back Pain Wilmington NC: How Much Protein Should You Have in Your Diet?

In recent years, we have been introduced to a variety of “pop” diet plans such as the Atkins Diet and the Paleo Diet that promise weight loss and better health as the result of substituting protein for carbohydrates. And although these diets have appealed to millions of Americans who would rather chow down on a cheeseburger or a steak than a plate of vegetables anyway, new research indicates that eating all of this animal protein might have at least one slight drawback—it can shorten your life. In fact, that steak you’re eating might shorten your lifespan as much as smoking a cigarette. Our back pain Wilmington NC chiropractor explains more.

In two related studies published in the journal Cell Metabolism earlier this year, researchers examined the relationship of protein consumption and longevity. In the first study, scientists at the University of Southern California examined data on over 6,800 middle-aged and older adults. They found that 50-year-olds who got more than 20% of their daily calories from animal protein—meat and dairy products—had a fourfold increase in their risk of death from cancer or diabetes. They also had nearly a twofold increase in risk of death from other causes over the next 18 years, compared with those who ate more low-protein diets.

These somewhat surprising results were definitely tied to timing—when in life the subjects consumed high levels of protein. Eating high levels of animal protein in middle age was the most dangerous – even people who ate moderate levels had a threefold increase of death from cancer. Study author Dr. Valter Longo said that the findings provide “convincing evidence that a high-protein diet – particularly if the proteins are derived from animals—is nearly as bad as smoking for your health.”

On the other hand, eating high levels of protein was found to have the opposite effect in people over 65. They had a 60% lower risk of dying from cancer and a 28% lower risk of death from any cause, compared with those of the same age who ate moderate levels of protein. And what about people who ate a high-protein vegetarian diet? The researchers found no increased risk of death in 50-year-olds who ate a high-protein diet but with the protein coming from plant-based sources.

A second study reported in the same issue of Cell Metabolism confirmed these findings in mice, indicating that rodents who ate a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet had much shorter lifespans. They theorized that the link between high protein consumption and early death might be due to protein activating a natural growth hormone and cellular growth factor called IGF-1, which helps the body grow, but has also been linked to greater susceptibility to cancer.

Levels of IGF-1 may help to explain the findings that high-protein diets in people over 65 have the opposite effect, because IGF-1 levels tend to naturally drop off in humans after that age. This can lead to muscle loss and frailty, and the additional protein may help to counteract these effects. In the human study at USC, the IGF-1 levels of a sub-portion of the study group (2,253 subjects) were measured, and the researchers found that for every 10 ng/ml increase in IGF-1, middle-aged subjects on a high-protein diet were more likely to die from cancer than those on a low-protein diet, but similar mortality risk increases were not found in those over 65.

If you’re wondering what all this means for you, it seems to indicate that if you’re middle-aged you should probably consider eating less animal protein, whereas if you’re over 65, you might consider eating more. In a press release, USC study co-author Eileen Crimmins said, “The research shows that a low-protein diet in middle age is useful for preventing cancer and overall mortality. However, we also propose that at older ages, it may be important to avoid a low-protein diet to allow the maintenance of healthy weight and protection from frailty.”

At the same time, co-author Dr. Longo advised caution, “The majority of Americans are eating about twice as much protein as they should, and it seems that the best change would be to lower the daily intake of all proteins but especially animal-derived proteins. But don’t get extreme in cutting out protein; you can go from protected to malnourished very quickly.”

Back Pain Wilmington NC
If you are experiencing back pain, make an appointment with our back pain Wilmington NC chiropractor today.

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Neck Pain Wilmington NC: Can You Really Bank Sleep?

Banking sleep to save energy for later? To most people, this idea probably sounds too good to be true. At the very least, it probably seems to defy common sense and or runs counter to the way we think our bodies work. However, it actually turns out that banking sleep is possible—within limits. Our neck pain Wilmington NC chiropractor explains more.

A great deal of research has been conducted on this subject.  In one particular study, American scientists invited a number of volunteers to adjust their sleep patterns so that researchers could observe the effects. For a week, half of the volunteers were permitted to sleep more than usual, and the remaining volunteers were made to sleep according to their usual pattern.

“After this week of either extended or habitual sleep per night, all the volunteers came to the lab and they were given three hours of sleep, per night, for a week,” says Tracy Rupp of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. The volunteers were then assigned tasks of varying difficulty, and those who had banked their sleep were more unaffected throughout the sleep restriction.

Rupp elaborates: “They showed less performance deterioration with regards to reaction time and alertness than the group that had been given the habitual prior sleep.”

The study also revealed that a week after the experiment, the banked sleepers were recuperating faster from deficiency of sleep than the others were. Rupp again: “What we’re basically saying is if you fill up your reserves and pay back your sleep debt ahead of time, you’re better equipped to deal with the sleep loss challenge.”

While these results may sound great, there are limits to what banking sleep can do for you. “It’s a strategy that’s only partially successful,” explains Michael J. Breus, Ph.D., in the November 2013 issue of Psychology Today. “New research indicates that although some of the negative effects of a week of insufficient sleep can be remedied with extra sleep on the weekend, others cannot. Researchers at Penn State University College of Medicine studied the effects of weekend recovery sleep after a week of mild sleep deprivation. They found that make-up sleep on the weekends erased only some of the deficits associated with not sleeping enough the previous week.”

Banking sleep isn’t limited to sleeping longer nights. Naps can be extremely effective as well—within limits, of course. According to Science Focus, “A 1991 study at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio found that after an ordinary night’s sleep, subjects could take an extra nap in the afternoon and then work through the night with greater alertness that a control group who didn’t nap. The study also found that performance is proportional to the length of the nap—but the effect doesn’t last.

After a second consecutive night without sleep, all of the subjects performed equally badly, regardless of how much sleep they had initially. It may be that all of us are normally slightly sleep-deprived and one really good night’s sleep will bring us back up to 100%, but that the ‘tank’ isn’t big enough to buffer us against more than one all-nighter.”

The practical uses of banking sleep go beyond needing to pull an all-nighter before finals or a big presentation at work. Dr. Winter, a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, puts it thusly: “If you knew you were going to give birth on a particular day, for example, you could sleep for 10 hours a day for multiple days before the event, and be fine.”

Lastly, it is important to consider the host of negative effects of sleep deprivation. Memory loss, obesity, and even early death comprise some of these consequences. The moral of the story here is that banking sleep in advance may actually be a reasonable short-term strategy for coping with an isolated event (like giving birth). However, the best long-term strategy for staying healthy and performing well is to get a good night’s sleep as consistently as possible. If you are looking for a neck pain Wilmington NC chiropractor, contact our office today. 

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Chiropractor Wilmington NC: What is Complementary and Alternative Medicine?

When most people hear the term “mainstream medicine”, they probably have a pretty accurate intuitive understanding of what it means. It refers to the standard care that patients receive in doctors’ offices and hospitals across the United States. However, there is also another term in modern healthcare—“complementary and alternative medicine”—that is often less well understood by the public.  So what exactly is it, and why is it worth knowing? Our Chiropractor Wilmington NC explains more.

Let’s start with why it matters. In today’s healthcare environment, it’s important to understand these terms and how they relate to each other so that you can make the right treatment choices for yourself and your family and have appropriate expectations of various healthcare providers. This is especially true if you have a medical issue that mainstream (also known as “conventional”, “Western” or “allopathic”) medicine doesn’t seem to be able to help you with. This is where complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) often comes in.

First of all, complementary medicine and alternative medicine are not interchangeable terms—they actually refer to two separate approaches to diagnosis and treatment. Here’s the difference: Complementary medicine is meant to be used alongside mainstream medicine, while alternative medicine is meant to be used on its own, instead of mainstream medicine. For instance, a complementary medical treatment could involve undergoing acupuncture along with more standard cancer treatments, while an example of alternative medicine might be treating heart disease with chelation therapy (which aims to eliminate excess metals from the blood) in the place of using a typical Western medicinal approach.

Altogether, 40% of American adults use some form of CAM. Most Americans prefer the complementary medicinal approach and relatively few actually opt out of mainstream healthcare altogether in favor of alternative methods.

Interestingly, as complementary and alternative medical treatments are tested and used, they often eventually become conventional or standard care. This means that the boundary between mainstream medicine and CAM shifts with time. At present, the following areas are classified by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine as complementary and alternative medicine:

  1. Whole medical systems: Whole medical systems include homeopathy, naturopathy, and ancient healing systems such as Ayurveda from India and traditional Chinese medicine.
  2. Mind-body medicine: Examples of mind-body connection techniques include meditation, prayer, and relaxation and art therapies such as music and dance.
  3. Biologically based practices: These practices include the use of dietary supplements and herbal remedies sourced from nature. These include herbs such as ginseng, ginkgo, and Echinacea. Other dietary supplements include selenium, glucosamine sulfate, and SAMe. Herbs and supplements come in the form of teas, oils, syrups, powders, tablets, and capsules.
  4. Manipulative and body-based practices: These practices include chiropractic and osteopathic manipulation and massage, using touch to influence and heal specific parts of the body.
  5. Energy medicine: According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, “Energy therapies involve the use of energy fields. They are of two types:
    • Biofield therapies are intended to affect energy fields that purportedly surround and penetrate the human body. The existence of such fields has not yet been scientifically proven. Some forms of energy therapy manipulate biofields by applying pressure and/or manipulating the body by placing the hands in, or through, these fields. Examples include qi gong, Reiki, and Therapeutic Touch.
    • Bioelectromagnetic-based therapies involve the unconventional use of electromagnetic fields, such as pulsed fields, magnetic fields, or alternating-current or direct-current fields.”

As you can see, complementary and alternative medicine offers a very wide variety of treatment options. Before undergoing any CAM therapies, you should always ask your healthcare professional a number of important questions:

  1. What benefits can you expect to receive from the therapy over what period of time?

 

  1. What risks and side effects are associated with the therapy? How likely and how serious are they?

 

  1. Do the known benefits of the therapy outweigh the risks?

 

  1. Will the therapy interfere or interact with other treatments—conventional or CAM—you’re undergoing?

 

  1. What costs are associated with the therapy? Is it covered by your health insurance?

Also, always be sure to fully research the specific CAM therapy you’re considering and use your primary care physician (usually an MD or a DC) as a resource for advice and referrals. Contact our chiropractor Wilmington NC office today for more information.