Monday, August 29, 2011

Chiropractic Care for Children

Chiropractic care can have an immense impact on the wellness of a child. However, many parents may be unaware of the benefits it can have on their children’s health. This unawareness can provoke apprehension, resulting in theories against the matter, such as:

  • Children are fragile; chiropractic treatment is not the same for a child as it would be for an adult.

  • Availability of medications that relieve pain and cover a vast array of diseases.

  • Children are simply too young for treatment.

  • Unawareness of chiropractic methodologies and practices. If parents are unsure about the benefits of chiropractic care themselves, why would they send their kids there?

    • Encouragement is key for parents that are apprehensive. They should be fully informed of the benefits, the safety factors, and the positive outcomes that come from chiropractic care. It is important to explain how children can be highly vulnerable to long-term injuries from daily activity. As children are constantly growing and adapting to the natural transformations, they become prone to long-term injuries, or developing musculoskeletal disorders that can last for many years.

      According to Dynamic Chiropractic, “children's bones and muscles are more elastic and heal faster. At the peak of adolescent linear growth, the musculoskeletal system is most vulnerable because of imbalances in strength and flexibility and changes in the biomechanical properties of bone.”[1]

      Chiropractic care can help prevent children from developing:

    • Long-term musculoskeletal dysfunctions

    • Imbalances in the body

    • Dependencies on medications

    • In a To Your Health article, “The same treatments we administer to adults are just as safe for children. Ailments that adults commonly come into our offices with happen to children as well. Chiropractic techniques performed on children are modified so the procedures are gentler for the child's particular body type.”[2]

      Another way a chiropractor can help prevent children from the development of postural and musculoskeletal disorders is by ordering them Stabilizing Orthotics. Many children suffer from pronation and the low arches in their feet can disrupt normal gait patterns and create postural imbalances later in life.

      In an article concerning children’s foot health, Dr. Brian Jensen states, “Foot problems from childhood can interfere with adolescent (or adult) spinal function, which can result in poor biomechanics and accelerated degenerative changes in the knees, hips, and spine.”[3]

      Children that are monitored and treated by a chiropractor can reduce the risk of developing postural disorders and other ailments that typically go unseen. Parents should be encouraged to have their children routinely examined. A few steps towards prevention can make a great difference in long-term postural stability in a child.

      [1] Pate, Deborah. (October 21, 2010). Musculoskeletal Development and Sports Injuries in Pediatric Patients.
      [2] Wong, Kevin M. (August, 2007). Chiropractic for Growing Bodies.
      [3] Jensen, Brian. (Nov/Dec 2006). Can Orthotics Help Kids? Transitions, NYCC

      Adapted from Foot Levelers' Notes.

      Monday, August 15, 2011

      Barefoot Running

      Until recently, most of us considered athletic shoes an important and essential part of our athletic training gear. Every year since the mid-1970s, the big running shoe companies have introduced new product lines based on shoes with increased cushion and support. Today, however, there has been an uprising among subgroups of runners, cross-fitness enthusiasts and weight lifters: Less shoe is better, and no shoe is best.

      The premise behind barefoot running is essentially that the intrinsic muscles, joints, ligaments and mechanoreceptors of the feet require stimulation to function properly. And this optimal function is inhibited by highly supportive and cushioned shoes.

      If you’re interested in trying out barefoot running, consider this advice before you begin.

      • Start with walking barefoot or in minimalist shoes, and gradually work into running.

      • Progress to short runs. Begin running only five minutes per run, and gradually increase.

      • Rather than going totally barefoot, use a minimalist shoe to protect your feet from thorns, glass, nails, stones and other debris.

      • Stop barefoot running at the earliest sign of pain.

      • Avoid running barefoot in freezing temperatures. Shoes protect us from frostbite if nothing else.

      • Be prepared for blisters and calluses to form as you transition to barefoot running.

      ChiroHealth is a health news update of the American Chiropractic Association (ACA).

      Friday, August 5, 2011

      The GREEN Summerfest in Vasa Park, NJ

      On Saturday and Sunday, August 13 and 14, a very special event will be held for the first time in Vasa Park. The park will be transformed into a 2-day eco-friendly festival with a concert showcasing New Jersey's most popular bands. The theme of the event will be green products, services, a craft section, natural foods and delicious festival foods and the Kids Traveling Shindig, a special section with kiddie rides, bounces, clowns, face-painting and kid-oriented entertainment.

      An invitation is extended to local civic/non-profit organizations to participate as exhibitors. A separate area will be created called the "Community Square" where local organizations can get involved in the festival, promote your group/club, or an event you are planning.

      If you are an exhibitor and would like to come FREE, come up with an activity, a draw or an attraction that will complement the event. Make it interesting...make it fun...make it interactive...

      Proceeds of the Summerfest will benefit Mt. Olive Recreation.

      Monday, August 1, 2011

      City vs. Country: Who Is Healthier?

      Urban Areas Clean Up, Residents Live Longer, Stay Fitter; But Stress Is Less in Rural Regions
      By Melinda Beck

      Is city life killing you? Not necessarily. According to a recent report, you're more likely to get in a traffic accident, die of a gunshot wound, suffer from high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes if you live in a rural area. Melinda Beck explains.

      For many urban dwellers, the country conjures up images of clean air, fresh food and physical activities. But these days, Americans residing in major cities live longer, healthier lives overall than their country cousins—a reversal from decades past.

      Many cities that were once notorious for pollution, crime, crowding and infectious diseases have generally cleaned up, calmed down and spread out in recent years, while rural problems have festered. Rural residents are now more likely than other Americans to be obese, sedentary and smoke cigarettes. They also face higher rates of related health problems including diabetes, stroke, heart attacks and high blood pressure, according to County Health Rankings (CHR), a research project that recently issued its second annual report of state-by-state comparisons of health measures in every U.S. county.

      To be sure, city dwellers live with more air pollution and violent crime. They also have higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases and low-birth-weight babies and are more likely to drink excessively. But overall, urbanites tend to rate their own health more highly and are less likely to die prematurely than rural Americans, according to the county rankings report.

      In many measures, residents of suburban areas are the best off. They generally rate their own health the highest and have the fewest premature deaths than either their urban or rural counterparts. Suburbanites also have the fewest low-birth-weight babies, homicides and sexually transmitted diseases.

      "Suburbs rule!" says CHR deputy director Bridget Booske, a senior scientist at the University of Wisconsin's Population Health Institute, which produces the rankings with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

      These broad generalities don't hold true for every region. Much of the health advantage in cities may be a function of age, income and education levels. The average annual household income in central cities is $53,000, according to the county ranking report. By contrast, average incomes are $39,000 in most rural areas and $60,000 in suburbs. Rural residents also tend to be older and less educated than their urban counterparts.

      Limited access to care might help explain the overall poorer health of rural residents. About 25% of the U.S. population lives in rural areas, but they are served by only 10% of the country's physicians. They are also less likely to have private health insurance, prescription drug coverage or be covered by Medicaid, according to the nonprofit National Rural Health Association.

      "Rural America is a place where those most in need of health-care services often have the fewest options," says Alan Morgan, the association's chief executive.

      The nationwide problem with obesity hits rural areas hardest. Overall, 19% of rural children aged 2 to 19 are obese, and 36% of them are overweight, according to the center's report. By comparison, 15% of urban kids the same age are obese, and 30% are overweight.

      Determining what areas are "urban" or "rural" can be murky. Some government agencies divide geographic areas into just two categories: metro and nonmetro, making it harder to identify trends in suburbs. Others use from six to 12 categories. Statistics are generally gathered and compared on a county basis, but many counties contain a mix of urban, suburban and rural areas.

      It's long been observed that city dwellers have a higher rate of mental health problems than rural residents—39% more mood disorders and 21% more anxiety disorders, according to an analysis from 20 developed countries last year. The reasons aren't clear, but a study in the journal Nature this month, in which German researchers monitored the brain waves of urban and rural residents, suggests that people who grow up in cities may process stress differently.

      People who move from a city environment to the country or vice versa generally bring their health habits with them. Leigh Young grew up on a tiny farm in rural Michigan, eating only what her family grew or slaughtered. Ms. Young, 55, now lives in urban Grand Rapids, where she says she isn't tempted by soda, chocolate or processed food. Her upbringing "made me far more aware of what I put into my body," she says.

      Many places have their own health quirks. Matthew Joyce, 45, and his family moved from San Francisco to Boulder, Colo., 10 years ago. "It's so health conscious that if you don't participate you feel like the odd one out," he says. Farmers markets and health-food stores have squeezed out the doughnut shops, he says. He and his family have become healthier, Mr. Joyce says. "We eat organic, exercise, meditate. But that doesn't mean you don't want a doughnut every now and again."