Perils of High Heels

For many women, wearing high heels is a way of life, as they look stylish and add height to your frame. However, wearing these shoes too often may cause a wide range of foot problems and leg or back pain, impairing stability and increasing the opportunity for injury. High heels put excessive stress on the back and lower extremities that can significantly and adversely impact posture, balance, and gait.

A high heel forces your foot into a downward extended (plantarflexed) position, increasing the pressure on the forefoot. This unnatural positioning compels the rest of the body to compensate, as the body’s alignment and center of balance is thrown off. Even those who wear high heels every day will eventually experience an unnatural curvature in the lower back caused by the shift in the body’s center of gravity at the hips.

Did You Know? For every inch of height, the pressure on the forefoot increases by 25%. Therefore, a three-inch heel adds 75% more pressure than average.

How High Heels Affect Your Stride and Balance

When walking barefoot, your stride involves rolling from the heel to the ball of the foot, pushing off with the toes. The plantarflexed position when wearing heels doesn’t allow this movement, and the hip flexor muscles are more taxed as they propel the body forward. The knees will also remain more flexed, adding strain on the knee muscles.

Walking in high-heeled shoes can be likened to walking on a balance beam, as the wearer has to adjust for varied surfaces, elevations, and inclines. When walking quickly, even greater weight is placed on the balls of the feet to keep them balanced and steady. Those in high heels are walking all day on their tiptoes, risking damage to the underlying bones and tissues.

Stilettos are especially problematic, as the narrow, stick-like heels provide little support or stability. They force the foot and ankle into an outward splaying position, increasing the risk of twisted or sprained ankles and falls.

The C-curve shape of a healthy back is designed much like a shock absorber, minimizing the weight-bearing stress on the vertebrae and pelvis. High heels can cause the lumbar spine (low back) to become compressed while forcing the thoracic spine (middle back)to become hyper-curved. This poor alignment will inevitably lead to stress on the back muscles and chronic back pain.

The Effect on Hips, Knees, Feet, and Toes

Besides the back, wearing high heals can also affect other joints in the body, including:

Hips: Constant high heel usage forces the hip flexor muscles into a persistent flexed position, causing them to shorten and contract over time. This can result in low back and hip pain.
Knees: Knee osteoarthritis (“wear-and-tear arthritis”) in women is often related to the use of high heels. The constantly flexed knee position will cause the tibia (shin bone) to turn inward to retain balance and cause compression of the medial (inner) knee, a common site of osteoarthritis. Those with the condition are advised to avoid wearing heels as the practice could accelerate joint damage.
Ankles: The unnatural position of the ankle can result in the contraction of the Achilles tendon, which attaches to the heel bone. A common consequence is an inflammatory and painful condition called insertional Achilles tendonitis.
Feet: When the foot is forced downward, significant pressure is placed on the forefoot’s plantar area. The increased pressure can cause pain or foot deformities such as bunions and neuromas. High heels will also cause the tendons and ligaments that support the arch to tighten, leading to a very painful case of plantar fasciitis.
Toes: Your toes are often the victim of fashion, forced into the toe box of a shoe that may not have room for all of them. After years of heels, the toes may become abnormally fixed together; but even if this does not occur, the toes often suffer corns, callouses, and blisters.


Final Word on High Heels

We understand that it is unlikely for women to give up their favorite pair of designer shoes, so here are a few tips to help mitigate any damage:

Reserve high heels for special occasions or work meetings.
Wear low shoes and change into heels when necessary
If possible, remove heels occasionally to stretch your feet
Wear low shoes or heels 1 inch or less when heels are not required.

One final tip? Schedule regular appointments with your chiropractor, who can adjust and correct any damage and alert you to any early issues you may need to know about.

Dr. Ryan Johnson is a Sarasota and Siesta Key chiropractor who utilizes traditional adjustments, massage, cold laser therapy, and other innovative techniques to ensure his clients feel their best. Call today for an appointment and to learn more.

5 Ways Your Chiropractor Treats Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a medical condition that causes severe musculoskeletal pain. Typically, fibromyalgia is caused by a stressful event that results in emotional or physical strain on the body. This painful illness can cause discomfort anywhere in the body but most frequently affects the neck, upper arms, and knees. Many people with fibromyalgia want to find an alternative to a constant regimen of painkillers – a natural and holistic solution to their pain. Chiropractic care may provide that solution.

Fibromyalgia symptoms are unique to each individual. While pain is the most prevalent symptom for most patients, other symptoms might include fatigue, muscle tenderness, skin sensitivity, joint stiffness, headaches, and anxiety.

5 Ways Chiropractic Treatments Can Ease Fibromyalgia Pain

  1. Adjustments: Chiropractors utilize musculoskeletal adjustments to ensure that a specific bone or joint is in its proper location. Adjustments prevent joints from pressing against surrounding nerves or muscles, a condition that can cause severe pain, including fibromyalgia. To help with this specific issue, a chiropractor will gently explore the areas of soreness and identify any misaligned or swollen joints. The chiropractor may use one of many adjustments, including flexion-distraction adjustments, which stretch the body on a specially designed table, straightening the spine and preventing lower back pain. Another common technique is the activator technique, which uses a tool to provide relief. The activator runs up and down the spine and sends impulses to the spinal vertebrae, preventing nerve damage and restoring mobility.
  2. Massage: Chiropractic treatments may also incorporate massage therapy, which has been proven to help reduce the muscle pain associated with fibromyalgia. A massage can increase and enhance the range of motion and heal flexibility issues. While there are many types of massage that the chiropractor might recommend, one of the most common is trigger point massage. Trigger points are nodules that become knotted when stressed. Fibromyalgia often manifests in trigger point issues as it targets muscle fibers. The trigger point massage method releases tension in specific points around the body.
  3. Natural Pain Management: Depending on the patient and the severity of their condition, fibromyalgia can range from uncomfortable to unbearable. Consistent chiropractic treatment can assist with pain management, and the chiropractor may also recommend natural painkillers during painful flare-ups, such as turmeric supplements, lavender essential oil, and a heating pad.
  4. Helpful Exercises: A chiropractic professional with experience treating fibromyalgia will also provide exercises designed to stretch your body, alleviate pain and prevent further musculoskeletal damage. These exercises include walking, a simple way to stay active and relieve tension, boosting blood circulation, and helping muscles get necessary nutrients. Swimming is an easy aerobic activity that facilitates movement without pain, and specific stretches like the side bend will help your back and shoulders release tension. Many fibromyalgia sufferers also enjoy yoga to stretch out their muscles.
  5. Dietary Recommendations: A holistic chiropractic professional may also provide nutritional counseling to help combat fibromyalgia pain. A chiropractor understands the connection between one’s diet and how it affects this specific medical condition. For instance, food high in sugar can aggravate fibromyalgia symptoms, and food high in fat can cause weight gain that puts excess pressure on joints.

Dr. Ryan Johnson of Integrated Chiropractic is dedicated to restoring his patients’ health and balance, both in mind and body. By identifying the root cause of your pain and employing both traditional and innovative techniques, Dr. Johnson will customize a treatment plan specific to your situation. This plan may include adjustments, massage, nutritional counseling, cold laser therapy, or our infrared sauna.

Whether you are a Sarasota resident or visiting Siesta Key, you are welcome in our offices. Call today to learn more.

Can Your Chiropractor Help Your Golf Game?

Sarasota is known for great golf, with nearly 100 public and private courses within driving distance. Golf is a game that anyone of any skill level can enjoy, and is a popular way for friends, colleagues, and business people to get together and collaborate. People spend a lot of time and money improving their game with lessons and new equipment – but did you know that working on your health can up your golf game?

In fact, paying attention to your musculoskeletal system is an effective (if little-known) way to improve your score.

It Starts With Your Core

A body with a weak core is at higher risk for injury. Spending time at the gym to strengthen the core muscles will benefit both your body and your game, as it will result in the center of the body being strong and stable. A stable core will allow you to produce more power and execute your swing properly.
In order to play at optimum levels, your joints (both the spine and the extremities) must have their full range of motion. Spending time warming up is vital to increase blood flow and facilitate muscular activity. Failing to warm up properly before your first swing can result in an immediate injury – or may cause chronic muscle issues over time.

Hydration is always essential but is especially so in Florida’s heat. The body needs hydration every day, but when exercise of any kind is added to the mix, extra hydration is needed. If you plan on being on the golf course, drink plenty of water – and leave the cocktails for after the game, as alcohol can dehydrate your system.

How Chiropractic Can Improve Your Golf Game

There are significant benefits to chiropractic care for one’s overall health and wellness, and the same can be said about your golf game. Tiger Woods is an outspoken advocate of chiropractic care and has stated that he considers it as important to his training as practicing his swing.

If routine chiropractic care is a core training element for one of the most successful golfers in the world, it is likely to work for you.

Chiropractic treatments optimize the nervous system communication between the brain and the body – and vice versa. When the spinal joints are moving properly, the nervous system functions at its best. However, when the spinal joints become restricted, communication can be interrupted and body function, performance, and range of motion can be adversely impacted. This can hurt your golf game and put you at greater risk for injuries.

Golf is a game of continually swinging a club in a repetitive motion. Repetitive motions, especially if performed with poor posture or improper body mechanics, can injure joints and damage range of motion. Visiting a chiropractor for chiropractic adjustments can equip your body to more easily withstand the physicality of the game, as well as improve overall body function and performance and prevent injuries.

Golf is a fantastic way for people to remain active and sharpen their mental focus. If you participate in golf for any reason, keeping your body in optimal physical condition helps keep you healthy – and at the top of your game. Call Dr. Ryan Johnson at Integrated Chiropractic today to learn more about setting up a regular schedule of chiropractic care.

Remember – we love caring for visitors and snowbirds. If you are here for a couple of months or just a couple of weeks – call for an appointment. You may be surprised at how good you can feel.

Importance of Range of Motion

You may not think about your flexibility until you begin to lose it. But range of motion is vital in many parts of everyday life – from bending to pick up a package to playing with children or carrying groceries. Those who play sports or like to remain active are especially aware of their level of flexibility, but it is essential for everyone who wants to live without pain or discomfort.

No matter your profession or favorite pastime, whether you are still young or simply young at heart – you need flexibility to comfortably and painlessly participate in life. When your limbs, back, and neck operate with maximum flexibility, you experience unrestricted movement. And while few adults are as flexible as they were when they were 20, working towards an optimal capability of  motion at any age is recommended.

A loss of flexibility adds stress all over the body, from overall bodily structure to connecting tissues. Cartilage health is compromised when an adequate range of motion is absent, since needed fluid and blood supply cannot efficiently reach your joints. When movement is impaired, some muscles grow fatigued as other muscle groups overcompensate. Putting the body back into balance is therefore important not only for flexibility but overall health and wellness.

Using Chiropractic to Increase Flexibility

Your comprehensive wellness depends on many factors, but maintaining a flexibility is essential as it contributes to the quality of life. If your ligaments, tendons, muscles, and bones are not functioning as they should, it affects all aspects of daily life. Chiropractic spinal adjustments can help avoid imminent health problems and improve your range of motion.

An individual experiencing a limited range of motion may benefit significantly from chiropractic care. Treatment typically involves a thorough examination of the large and small muscle groups, taking into consideration family health history and patient feedback regarding any areas of pain or limited flexibility.

There are several classifications of range of motion. Passive range of motion speaks to the ability of your body to move comfortably when manipulated by someone else. The patient remains relaxed while the chiropractor assesses movement in and around the joints. Active-assistive range of motion indicates that the injured area of your body can move by itself but needs assistance. A chiropractor can assess the active-assistive range of motion and facilitate movement to avoid further damage to the injured area. An individual’s active range of motion indicates their ability to move independently using their own muscles.

The parts of the body most commonly affected by a restricted agility and flexibility include:

  • Lower back
  • Hamstrings
  • Shoulders
  • Spine
  • Neck
  • Hips and pelvis

The joints play a critical role in flexibility and range of motion. Therefore chiropractic adjustments and other manual therapies, such as stretching and massage, can stimulate increased flexibility in the affected area and restore functionality.

Make it a Habit

While many people seek care when they are injured or experiencing a decreased range of motion, seeing a chiropractor when you are healthy is recommended. Regular chiropractic treatments make detecting changes to the range of motion possible before they become a bigger problem. When flexibility falls below an established baseline, your chiropractor can proactively determine if any health problems are developing and address the situation before it worsens.

Dr. Ryan Johnson treats Sarasota residents utilizing traditional methods and innovative, cutting-edge techniques. If you live locally or are visiting the region, call today to learn more about supporting your flexibility and achieving optimum holistic health.

Chiropractic Treatment as Self-Care

Self-care is a new buzzword these days, with many people finally realizing that taking care of themselves is an essential prerequisite to taking care of others. Indulging in a spa day massage is a popular option for those looking to relax and achieve a sense of calm. But have you ever considered going to the chiropractor as self-care? The combination of massage therapy and chiropractic treatment may be the best solution for those looking to slow down, unwind and optimize their overall mental and physical health.

Each of these treatments offers significant benefits, but the synergy between the two has an exponential effect. Massage therapies alleviate pressure and loosen tendons and muscles, while chiropractic care enhances function by optimizing range of motion and treating pain.

Massage Therapy Benefits

Much like a patient seeking chiropractic care when they experience pain, many people schedule a massage when they “need one” – they may already be tense, overworked, or anxious when they make an appointment. In both cases, however, proactively scheduling these therapies can present an excellent opportunity for preventative health care that may prevent issues from developing entirely.

Massage therapy is effective for:

  • Relaxation of muscles
  • Improved circulation
  • Increased joint flexibility
  • Lymphatic system stimulation
  • Reduction of stress hormone levels
  • Improved overall skin tone
  • Fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • Better clarity and mental focus

Self Care Benefits of Chiropractic Care

Injuries can occur in many ways, from slips and falls to car accidents or sports mishaps. Many of these injuries will linger for many years – if not a lifetime – if not treated appropriately. Recovery from injury can occur more rapidly when the nervous system is at an optimal level of functionality. By adding chiropractic care to your current healthcare routine, your body is more naturally fortified to prevent injury and enhance wellness.

The chiropractor utilizes manual therapies and new innovations to improve spinal alignment and reduce joint restriction. A chiropractic adjustment incorporates gentle pressure applied to specific spinal joints to enhance range of motion, relieve painful symptoms, and optimize the nervous system’s capability to avoid disease. While beneficial to treat pain and restore function, routine chiropractic visits will also minimize inflammation throughout the body and result in a healthier nervous system.

Chiropractic care benefits include:

  • Improved immune system function
  • Increased circulation
  • Better flexibility
  • Optimal range of motion
  • Reduced pain and inflammation

A Powerful Self-Care Combination

Massage targets soft tissue areas, loosening ligaments, tendons, and muscles and reducing joint restriction. This makes it an excellent start to a chiropractic visit. Conversely, the benefits of massage last longer when combined with chiropractic care that maximizes the functionality of the nervous system and boosts immunity.

Research reveals psychological benefits are inherent in both massage and chiropractic care. Anxiety and depression are connected to headaches, muscle tension, and stiffness, as the persistence of these physical symptoms can also impair mental health. The synergistic relief available through a chiropractor and an experienced masseuse positively impacts both the body and mind.

Dr. Ryan Johnson is a Sarasota-based chiropractor who also offers massage therapy in his South Siesta Key Causeway offices. He understands that patients with access to both of these disciplines enjoy enhanced relaxation and better joint and spinal function, making Integrated Chiropractic the epitome of self-care.

Are you ready to make a positive change to your health and wellness routine? Call today to learn how a comprehensive treatment plan incorporating massage and chiropractic adjustments – as well as other innovative therapies – can revolutionize your mental and physical health.

20 Potential Explanations for Back Pain

Millions of Americans live with chronic back pain, and the condition is not just afflicting older adults. In fact, back pain is the primary cause of disability in individuals younger than 45. Making matters worse, many factors could be contributing to the pain and discomfort – ranging from accident injuries to lifestyle habits.

If you are living with pain and discomfort, it may be caused by any of the following issues.

siesta key back pain chiropractor

Conditions Related to the Spine

One of the most apparent reasons for a backache is dysfunction in the spinal joints, muscles, discs, and nerves.

Herniated, slipped, or bulging discs: Typically caused by simple wear and tear, a herniated disc occurs when the soft tissue in the discs between joints becomes dislodged, causing pain as surrounding nerves become compressed. Minor discomfort may indicate a “bulging disc,” which is less pronounced than a herniated disc and often causes sporadic (not constant) pain.

Degenerative disc disease: The discs between the spine’s vertebrae act as shock absorbers. When they shrink or tear – often due to aging – the bones rub together and cause pain.

Sacroiliac joint inflammation: This joint is the area where your spine and pelvis come together. It doesn’t move as a typical joint but instead works to shift the load of the upper body to the lower body. Injury, arthritis, or an infection can cause swelling or erosion of the cartilage, causing pain. This condition is also sometimes the result of pregnancy and childbirth.

Spinal stenosis: This condition is typically age-related and is caused by the narrowing of the spinal canal. This narrowing puts additional pressure on the spine and nerves, causing pain as well as numbness in the extremities and shoulders.

Spondylolisthesis: This condition results from one or more of the spinal vertebrae slipping forward and out of place. It typically causes pain in the lower back.

Cervical radiculopathy: You may have experienced this condition but called it by its more common name, a pinched nerve. A bone spur or a herniated disc usually causes the nerves to become pinched or constricted.

Scoliosis: The curvature of the spine associated with scoliosis is typically a condition the patient has from birth, although pain often does not become a problem for several decades.

Back Pain Due to Accident or Injury

Car accidents and falls can cause muscle sprains, strains, and fractures – and are also among the leading causes of this type of pain.

Spine or vertebral fractures: Fractures may be caused by a blow to the back or a slip and fall – but are also often the result of weak bones due to osteoporosis.

Sprains and strains: There are muscles, ligaments, and tendons that support the spine, and injuries to them can cause back pain. This type of injury often occurs when an individual lifts something and twists simultaneously – but car accidents and sports injuries can also cause this type of pain.

Spasms: Back pain due to spasms is most often associated with sports injuries and weightlifting and occurs when muscles and tendons in the lower back become torn.

Back Pain Due to Habits and Lifestyle

Sometimes your backache is unrelated to trauma such as an accident or injury – but instead is caused by how you live your everyday life. These habits may include:

* Sitting for long periods at a non-ergonomic desk
* Slouching while sitting
* Lifting heavy objects (even grandparents lifting their grandkids!)
* Being overweight
* Lack of regular exercise
* Wearing high heels
* Smoking
* Living with high amounts of stress or anxiety

Medical Causes

Aside from the pain associated with spinal issues, back pain may also be associated with other medical conditions, such as:

Arthritis: This common joint disease manifests as stiffness, swelling, and inflammation. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage and bones break down – and is therefore associated most often with middle-aged or senior patients.

Pregnancy: The weight gain related to pregnancy can cause back strain.

No matter what is causing your backache, there is no need to suffer in silence or keep swallowing painkillers.

Call Dr. Ryan Johnson at Integrated Chiropractic today to learn more about the latest innovations in spinal treatment and holistic chiropractic care – and get rid of your pain for good.

8 Common Sports Injuries

Sports are a big part of life in Sarasota. Because of the beautiful weather, many of us play sports recreationally to enjoy the sunshine. Our kids play on school sports teams, and we even host professional ball players during spring training. But no matter your level of skill and commitment, there is one common denominator – sports injuries occur. In fact, all sports inherently involve a risk of injury, and getting back on the field (or court) is essential.

sports injuries chiropractor

In this article, we will discuss common sports injuries and how a chiropractor can help you to heal and recover.

  1. Sprains happen when ligaments are stretched too far or become torn. Because ligaments connect bones, the injury occurs in the joint. The most common injuries of this type are ankle and wrist sprains, which can cause pain, swelling, and bruising. Typically you may also lose mobility in the area.
  2. Strains occur when there is a tear in the tendon or muscle, typically related to being pulled too far. The most common strains affect the back or hamstrings and manifest as painful swelling or spasms. As with sprains, you may experience temporary mobility impairment.
  3. Swollen muscles, when enlarged, fill a membrane called the fascia which does not expand with the muscle. This condition, known as compartment syndrome, causes the nerves and blood vessels to be subject to pressure, potentially damaging the muscle. This painful issue can result from long-term overuse of the muscle – but can also occur after a single injury.
  4. Knee injuries occur frequently in the sports world. Runners may be afflicted by runner’s knee, which causes soreness and tenderness near the knee cap, pain on the sides of your knees, or tendonitis. Knees can also sustain more severe injuries if bone bruising or cartilage and ligament damage are evident. There are four major ligaments that support the knee, and if one – or all – of them is damaged, it can sideline an athlete. Knee injuries can result from not warming up adequately or running too hard (or too often). Being hit in the knee, collisions, and twisting can also cause significant pain and injury.
  5. Shin splints are well-known to runners at all levels of proficiency. This injury manifests as pain along the tibia (shin bone) on the front of the lower leg. Shin splints generally occur when an athlete doesn’t warm up properly or stretch adequately. They can also show up because of overuse and repeated activity on hard surfaces, especially if unsupportive shoes are worn. People with flat feet are considered more vulnerable to shin splints.
  6. Fractures occur when a bone breaks, either from a sudden injury or repeated stress. In sports, an acute fracture requires emergency treatment, while a stress fracture, caused by repetitive impact may be treated with therapy. The pain associated with a stress fracture grows worse when weight bears down on the fractured area, eventually making participation impossible.
  7. The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle to the heel, and injury to this tendon is relatively common in sports. An Achilles injury can end your season when it becomes stretched or torn due to overuse. These injuries are typically caused by overuse without proper stretching.
  8. Dislocations are serious sports injuries most often associated with contact and high-impact sports. When joint bones become separated and damage surrounding nerves, it is intensely painful. The joint must be repositioned in place, and the patient may need to wear a sling for several weeks until the swelling subsides. Rehabilitation is often necessary as it can restore your strength and range of motion.

Treating a Sports Injury

Except in the case of fractures and breaks, athletes often tend to self-treat their pain, numbness, swelling, or bruising at home. Many minor sports injuries can be effectively treated using rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

However, an experienced chiropractor can help to alleviate pain, hasten healing and assist with rehabilitation. By manipulating joints and muscles, sports massages can ease the pain and swelling related to these injuries, as well as stimulate healthy blood flow and warm up muscles – which will help optimize healing and future performance.

For those serious about sports, regular chiropractic treatment can significantly reduce the risk of injury and improve overall performance and wellness.

Whether you have been injured or want to proactively work towards prevention, contact Dr. Ryan Johnson at Integrated Chiropractic today. Dr. Johnson utilizes a unique combination of traditional methods and innovative technologies to provide targeted, personalized care to his clients.

Newborn Chiropractic – Care from Birth

A baby can experience several kinds of physical complications during childbirth. If a newborn has a misaligned spine, they can suffer digestive problems, develop asthma or have difficulty breastfeeding. New parents often do not think to associate these conditions with a need for a spinal adjustment. Still, a chiropractor with experience caring for newborns can properly assess the baby and help to bring them relief – and to correct any issues before they become worse.

You may wonder if chiropractic treatment is safe for infants and newborns within the first few weeks of life, but there is no need to worry.

Chiropractors experienced in infant care utilize gentle, soft pressure to help restore nervous system function and encourage the baby’s body to heal itself. While sometimes the baby may cry, it is simply because they are unfamiliar with what is happening – but adjustments are not painful in any way.

Pediatric chiropractic care can also increase a child’s mobility and boost their immune system. If you are the parent of a newborn, here are some reasons to consider a visit to the chiropractor.

Facilitates physical development: An infant’s body undergoes many changes in a short period of time. Lower back and neck curvatures begin to form as they start to hold their head up or as they later learn to sit upright. Spinal alignments allow curvatures to develop properly, positively influencing physical development and posture as your child grows.
Boosts recovery after childbirth: The birthing process can adversely affect the nerves in a child’s body, and gentle manipulations during their adjustments can help fix nerve problems and alleviate tension. As an infant’s spine is aligned properly, the nerve dysfunction that can lead to breathing difficulties, reflux, sleeping issues, and colic is remediated.
Supports the immune system: Many people do not understand that the spine affects the immune system. As the nervous system travels through the spine, any misalignment can result in irritated or inflamed nerve pathways, impacting all bodily systems – including the immune system. Through spinal adjustments, an infant’s body works to release disease-fighting cells, enhancing immune function.
Alleviates colic symptoms: Colic may be related to an immature gastrointestinal system, resulting in gas buildup and indigestion. Without some form of release, the gas is trapped and causes pain and bloating. If your baby has been diagnosed with colic by their pediatrician, a trip to the chiropractor may be in order. A skilled pediatric chiropractor will perform subtle manipulations that stimulate the nerve flow to their small intestines, increasing the peristalsis that assists their system in eliminating gas and liquid.
Soothes irritability and fussiness: While it is not uncommon for a newborn baby to be fussy, understanding and identifying the underlying cause can be difficult. Their fussiness could be caused by mobility restrictions in the spine, resulting in sleeping difficulties, headaches, and more. By improving a baby’s overall health, comfort, and well-being, irritability is minimized.

It is never too early to begin chiropractic treatment, but it is essential to find a chiropractor who is both comfortable and experienced in infant care.

Dr. Ryan Johnson is a Sarasota-based chiropractor specializing in care for the entire family – beginning with prenatal adjustments and continuing during the first weeks of life. In fact, Dr. Johnson’s youngest patient was merely hours old when she received her first adjustment.
If you are interested in holistic care for your child, call today to schedule your appointment with Dr. Johnson of Integrated Chiropractic. We look forward to meeting you and your family.

Spinal Stenosis Treatments

Spinal stenosis occurs when the spaces between the spinal bones are narrowed and compressed, putting pressure on the spinal cord and surrounding nerves. When the spinal bones press together, the nerve’s signal transmission is compromised, causing neurological impairment that may cause pain and numbness in the neck, back or legs, as well as issues with stability and, in extreme cases, impaired mobility.

What Causes Spinal Stenosis?

A narrow spinal canal can be congenital, but various other factors most often cause the condition. These may include the following:

Spinal injuries: Trauma caused by auto accidents or falls can result in a dislocation of the bones of the spine and inflammation of the surrounding tissues. This type of injury may also occur after back surgery.

Stiff ligaments: Each of the bones along the spinal cord are joined to other bones by tough tissues. When these tissues thicken and bulge, it can result in spinal stenosis.

Bone overgrowth: Medical issues such as osteoarthritis cause wear and tear on the spinal bones, resulting in spinal spurs and spinal stenosis.

Herniated discs (caused by age or trauma): The soft cushion shock absorber between the spinal discs eventually flattens out as we age. The bones press together and create bone spurs and disc herniation. This condition may also be caused by strain or trauma to the spine.

Possible Treatments

Chiropractic care seeks to heal the underlying cause of any chronic condition. It is a wellness approach that focuses on healing through the manipulation of the spine.

Chiropractic methods are especially effective for treating spinal stenosis because they re-align dislocated discs, reducing pressure on the spinal cord and nerve networks. Chiropractors may utilize massage to treat pain and minimize inflammation. Personalized exercise plans can also help develop physical strength, flexibility, and spinal support.

Medication: While spinal stenosis can be treated with over-the-counter or prescription-based painkillers, these drugs do not address the root cause of the problem – they simply mask symptoms. Pain is only one of the symptoms of spinal stenosis, and alleviating pain with drugs will still leave you with loss of balance, muscle weakness, numbness, and impaired mobility. These concerns require a more holistic and comprehensive treatment approach.

Medications, especially painkillers, and opioids that are often prescribed for chronic pain, have potentially harmful side effects, including possible addiction.

Surgery: Any surgery includes inherent risks – and while it may be necessary for some situations, chiropractic care often provides a safe and effective alternative to major surgery. Chiropractic care is preferred for spinal stenosis because it is non-invasive, requires less recovery time, and costs much less than surgical alternatives.

The Role of Exercise in Alleviating Spinal Stenosis

Exercise strengthens back muscles and decreases inflammation by increasing blood flow and circulation. Rehabilitation can also improve flexibility and loosen the stiff muscles that aggravate spinal stenosis. A chiropractor will help to develop an exercise routine to address back pain and mobility issues by fixing the position of your spine and decompressing spinal nerves. Typical exercises include lumbar extensions, lumbar flexion, and pelvic tilts.

If you are living with spinal stenosis, call Dr. Ryan Johnson of Integrated Chiropractic. He will provide an assessment of your situation and recommend a care plan that will address the root cause of your injury without the need for drugs or surgery.

Growing Pains and Chiropractic Care

Growing pains are a common phenomenon among children, experienced by approximately 40% of those between the age of 3 and 12. Because the children complain of vague, transitory pain that seems to have no explanation, parents can become understandably concerned. While the exact cause of these pains is unknown, they are considered a normal part of the development process. Chiropractors can help to ease the pain by realigning the spine, which in turn improves circulation and nerve function.

Identifying Growing Pains

Growing pains manifest in children or teens as cramping or aching in the limbs. These pains frequently occur overnight when the body is at rest, lasting several hours and then disappearing.
As previously stated, no definitive cause has been identified regarding growing pains, but they are considered by medical professionals to be related to the maturation of the musculoskeletal system. Some experts believe that the pain is from muscles and joints stretching during growth spurts, while others connect the pain to a chemical imbalance in the joints and muscles.

Symptoms to Watch Out For

Growing pains are common in growing children and usually affect the shins, thighs, calves, and back of the knees. They are most prevalent in the evening or at night, and pain and stiffness are generally not present by morning. They may also flare up on days when the child is involved in more physical activity than normal.

Here are the factors that may increase the likelihood of growing pains:

Excessive physical activity: Children may experience more pain if they are very active, putting strain on muscles and joints.

Lower pain threshold: Some children and adolescents may be more sensitive to pain than others, resulting in growing pains, as well as accompanying headaches and stomachaches.

Hypermobility: Growing pains may occur when joints are extended beyond their typical range of motion.

Vitamin D levels:Low levels of Vitamin D can contribute to these uncomfortable aches and pains.

Can a Chiropractor Help?

Chiropractic adjustments realign the spine and joints, reducing inflammation and alleviating pain and swelling. They help to improve joint motion and flexibility, as well as coordination.
Chiropractic treatments can provide significant benefits to children and offer a safe, non-invasive, and non-addictive method of care that may help with growing pains. Additionally, chiropractic care can enhance and improve overall health and well-being. When comprehensive health improves, all aches and pains tend to subside.

Is Your Child Experiencing Growing Pains?

In conclusion, chiropractic care represents an excellent option for children experiencing growing pains to get some relief, as it may ease the pain and discomfort they are feeling.
Your child may also be experiencing pain due to subluxation, a blockage affecting the spinal nerves and central nervous system. Parents need not be concerned about the safety of chiropractic treatments for growing children and adolescents. Experienced pediatric chiropractors utilize gentle pressure to manipulate and realign the spine and provide relief to tense or stiff muscles. We are accustomed to working with young children and know how to put them at ease.

Are you visiting the Sarasota area? Growing pains don’t realize you are on vacation! If you are visiting the area and your child is experiencing pain, call the offices of Dr. Ryan Johnson. We are happy to provide care to area residents and visitors alike. Dr. Johnson utilizes the most effective traditional treatments and the latest innovative methods to provide exceptional, individualized care to his patients. Contact us today for an appointment – because today is a great day to get rid of your pain.