Causes of Back Pain

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Back pain/discomfort is in the top 3 reasons a person will see a medical doctor and the number 1 reason a person will see a chiropractor. Back pain is clearly a problem that affects a lot of people. This article is to give you a better understanding of what can cause back pain. Understanding what causes back pain can help us to prevent and relieve back pain.

Below is a list of common back pain causes:

  • Muscle Strain
  • Ligament Sprain
  • Lumbar herniated disc.
  • Degenerative disc disease / Osteoarthritis
  • Facet joint dysfunction
  • Sacroiliac joint dysfunction

Muscle strains and ligament sprains are the most common reasons for back pain. If a muscle or ligament is overstretched and tears, even just a little bit, it can cause pain. The more tearing there is, the more severe the sprain/strain. A sprain/strain will cause pain with movement and often has swelling and tenderness associated with it.

Common causes of sprain/strain:

  • Fall or injury
  • Poor posture
  • Repetitive motions

A herniated disc causes significant pain because the disc between the vertebrae pushes on the nearby nerve root. Any pressure on the nerve can cause pain, numbness, tingling and/or weakness. Because the pressure is on the root of the nerve, the pain can travel (radiating pain) all the way to the ends of the extremity (hands and feet) that the nerve goes to. The radiation can also be felt on any part of the extremity (front, side or back). The amount of pressure on the nerve determines how severe the symptoms will be. The more pressure, the more severe the symptoms. If the disc ruptures, the jelly-like center of the disc leaks out and coats the nerve. This will result in severe and often debilitating pain.

Degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease and degeneration are synonyms. They mean the same thing. The space between the vertebrae is getting closer together. The closer the bones get together the more damage happens to the joint. The more damage, the more symptoms. Mild degeneration can cause discomfort, stiffness in the joints, and tightness in the surrounding muscles. As degeneration progresses the symptoms worsen. Severe degeneration can cause pain, pressure on nerves (which can cause numbness, tingling, burning, weakness), inflammation, and decreased ability to move the degenerated area.

Facet joint dysfunction is caused when the facets (joints of the vertebrae) are irritated by a physical stress. Most common symptoms are tenderness over the affected area, muscle tightness and difficulty standing up straight. More severe cases also present radiating pain (pain that travels). Facet radiation is often less extended than a herniated disc. Facet radiating pain is often closer to the spine and along the back of the body. For example, facet joint dysfunction in the low back could cause radiation into the buttocks and down the back of the leg, often not going past the knee. Facet joint dysfunction in the neck could cause radiating pain into the shoulders and down the back of the arms, often not going past the elbow.

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Sacroiliac joint dysfunction is when one or both of the sacroiliac (SI joints) become irritated. The SI joint is where the sacrum connects to the pelvis. This joint is designed to absorb shock between the upper and lower body. If this joint (or joints) become inflamed or irritated the pain is typically felt in the back, hip and/or groin area. If the joint is stiff or not moving properly, the pain is usually one sided, into the buttocks and sometimes mimics sciatica and the pain is felt down the leg.

Trauma, fracture, infection, tumor, autoimmune disorders, congenital disorders, etc… can also cause back pain. It is important to have a trained specialist help identify the cause of your back pain so that you can get the proper treatment.

In some cases, an exam and orthopedic tests can identify the cause. Other cases may require imaging, such as x-ray, MRI or CT scan. Occasionally, blood work may be necessary to identify the cause.

In Summary: Back pain has many causes and the treatment differs with each cause. The doctors at Total Health Chiropractic can perform exams, orthopedic tests and x-rays to help determine the cause of your pain and/or your next step to find relief.

Kathryn Haynes, D.C.

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HYDRATION

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10 Snacks to Keep You Hydrated

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Since your body needs water to function, it is important to stay hydrated. Water is the best way to hydrate your body. Foods can also contribute to your water intake and help keep you hydrated. The below foods contain a large percentage of water and will help to hydrate your body.

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Water is used to help protect your muscles, lubricate your joints, regulate your body temperature, aid in digestion, fight infection… and the list goes on. Your body uses water every day. Every minute. Every second. More than needing water to be healthy, we need water to survive.

Each person is different and requires a different amount of water to stay hydrated. Assuming you do not have a medical condition that limits your water intake, it is advised to consume a minimum ½ of of our body weight in ounces of water each day.

Example:  

A person weighing 180 pounds should consume a minimum of 90 ounces of water each day.

The below are common foods that DEHYDRATE you. If you choose to consume any of the below items, it might be a good idea to drink water afterwards.

DEHYDRATING FOODS/DRINKS:

  • Salty snacks
  • Soda (diet, regular, sugar free, etc..)
  • Energy drinks
  • Caffeine

In summary: Staying properly hydrated is vital to your health. Drinking water AND eating the right foods will will help to keep you hydrated and healthy.

Kathryn Haynes, D.C.

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How Habits Relate to Your Posture

Is your Posture Genetic or Learned

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There is a difference between a habit and a genetic disorder, including when it comes to your posture.  A habit is an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary.  Like tying your shoe, brushing your teeth, driving, etc. A genetic disorder is a disease that is caused by an abnormality in an individual’s DNA.

So, is your posture something you are born with or do your habits develop your posture. Although both genetics and habits will play a role for most people, our habits have the biggest impact on what our posture looks like.

Let’s take a look at 3 very basic daily postures.  We are in these postures whether we are at home, at work, or on vacation. Do you habitually perform these 3 basic postures correctly? See chart below to do a Posture Check.

3 Basic Daily Postures:

1. Sitting

2. Standing

3. Sleeping

chart

Whether you have good posture or poor posture, you can use the above Posture Check to create habits that will have a positive impact on your posture.  

In summary: Your daily habits have the biggest impact on your posture.

“When it comes to your health, we’ve got your back!”

Kathryn Haynes, D.C.

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How to Keep Your Brain Healthy

Kathryn Haynes, D.C.

FAST FACTS:

YOUR BRAIN…

  • Can read 1,000 words per minute.  
  • Can perform 38 thousand-trillion operations per second.
  • Receives & sends nerve impulses at 250mph.

The body was given the ability to learn.  It can act upon subtle information.  It can take hints from nature about how to get rid of infections and restore balance.  Chiropractic care supports your brain and helps the body heal, naturally.

Your brain controls every single function in your body. We call this the brain/body connection.  Your brain is connected to your body with nerves. This connection controls your movement, your heart to pump, your lungs to breath, your liver to filter, your eyes to see… everything.  

Your brain/body connection works to improve your immune system too.  Did you ever wonder why you get a fever or why you cough?

  • Fever:  Your brain will tell your body to raise it’s temperature to slow the growth of infection.  This gives our body an edge to fight infection, naturally.
  • Cough:  Your brain will tell your body to cough to get rid of germs, toxins and bacteria.  

Your brain/body connection creates human beings!

If you press or pinch a nerve, you slow or stop the brain body connection.  Chiropractic adjustments take pressure off of nerves so that your body can function properly.

It is also important to feed your brain nutritious foods. Check out this nutritious smoothie for brain support.

BrainBerry Smoothie

Fast Fact:  Blueberries improve brain function.  Walnuts support the development of brain cells.

Ingredients:

2-3 cups of coconut water

1 fresh ripe banana

1 ½ cups frozen blueberries

½ cup frozen raspberries

¼ cup raw walnuts

Directions:

1. Combine ingredients in a blender.

1. Blend until smooth.

In summary:

Keep your brain/body connection working in prime condition with chiropractic adjustments and nutritious foods.

“When it comes to your health, we’ve got your back!”

FREE Consultation for New Patients


 

TOTAL HEALTH CHIROPRACTIC  is Tennessee’s largest chiropractic group

DOWNTOWN   HIXSON FT. O E. BRAINERD            E. RIDGE         OOLTEWAH

(423) 517-7000         totalhealthchiro.info



HOW ONE TEAM OF DOCTORS ARE HELPING PATIENTS FIND RELIEF FROM CHRONIC HEADACHES AND MIGRAINES

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Tennessee’s largest chiropractic group has found a breakthrough combination of treatments that relieves chronic headaches and migraines.

The doctors at Total Health Chiropractic have been helping patients prevent and relieve headaches for over 20 years.  This year however, they have discovered a combination of two treatments that is resulting in significant headache relief for chronic headache sufferers.

The treatment consists of a specific chiropractic adjustment to the C1 vertebrae AND dry needling to the muscle spasms of the surrounding areas.

One doctor stated that “headaches are common… not normal.”  She went on to say that “headaches are of the 3 most common reasons people seek our help and we were determined to provide relief.”  Over the past 20+ years in practice, this group of chiropractors has helped many to manage or relieve their headaches completely.

The doctors at Total Health Chiropractic want all of their patients to find relief from headaches and migraines.  They have used different treatments and combinations of treatments to help the patients find relief.  There were still however, a small group of patients that were still suffering from headaches and migraines despite the treatment.  These patients had challenging cases and needed additional help.   They found that a combination of a chiropractic adjustment to the C1 vertebrae AND dry needling to the muscle spasms of the surrounding areas provided the relief they were looking for.

The combination of the adjustment and dry needling takes about 15-30 minutes and can only be performed by trained and licensed chiropractors who are also certified in dry needling.  The doctors at the Downtown, Hixson, Fort O., East Brainerd, East Ridge and Ooltewah locations are licensed in both chiropractic and dry needling and are qualified to perform these treatments.  Since these doctors are certified in both chiropractic and dry needling, they are able to perform both treatments.

Headaches and migraines are common, but they are not normal.  If you would like to see if this treatment might be able to help you, the specific offices above at Total Health Chiropractic offer a free consultation.

Total Health Chiropractic

(423) 517-7000

Totalhealthchiro.info

Snack Your Fat Away

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By Kathryn Haynes, D.C.

There are countless diets, apps, pills and even surgeries to help us lose weight.  Being overweight can drain us emotionally and physically causing headaches, neck pain, back pain, anxiety, poor posture and even depression.  This blog is not a diet, an app, a pill or a surgery.  This blog is about using Snacks as Tools to help you to manage your weight, mood, and hunger.   

Snacks as tools:

Keep in mind that you will typically feel hungry within 5 hours of your last meal. With that said, prepare ahead of time for your next meal or snack.  This way you have a healthy, energy filled food ready to eat when your body needs fuel.  

Packing one or several of the below snacks will equip you with the ‘tools’ you need to happily get through the day in a healthy way.

Snacks to eat when you are TIRED

Berries

Apples

Green tea

Nuts

Banana

Snacks to eat when you are HUNGRY

Nuts

Coconut yogurt

Hummus and carrots

Guacamole

Hard boiled egg

Snacks to eat when you are GROUCHY

Salmon

Banana

Ginger tea

Berries

Snacks to eat when you are having trouble falling ASLEEP

Herbal tea (no caffeine)

Almonds

Tart cherries

Turkey bites

Snacks to eat when you are BORED

Words… feed your mind instead.  When we are bored, our brain needs to be fed, not our stomach. Compile motivating or interesting magazines, books, and photos.  Keep these near the kitchen, so that if you get bored and head to the kitchen, you can grab something to feed your brain instead.

In summary, snacks can be used as tools to manage your weight, your mood and your pain.

“When it comes to your health, we’ve got your back!”

Total Health Chiropractic

529 N. Market St., Chattanooga, TN 37405

(423) 517-7000

Allergy Relief without Medication

Kathryn Haynes, D.C.

Outdoor allergies have become increasingly common due to a plethora of factors.  Some factors, we do not have direct control of like pesticides and poor air quality.  We do however, have direct control over our own hygiene routines and what we put into our bodies.

The below are a few tips to help prevent, control and/or relieve outdoor allergy symptoms:

  • Take showers before bed instead of in the morning. Showering before bed will wash pollen and other outdoor allergens off of your body and out of your hair.  Washing your hair at night is especially helpful when you sleep.

  • Drink water.  Soda, juice and milk increase inflammation.  Milk, especially, can increase mucus production.

  • Eliminate inflammatory foods: Dairy, Grains, and Processed Foods.  These foods increase mucus production and inflammation.

  • Keep pillows covered until you sleep on it.  Keeping your pillow covered will keep allergens that are floating in the air from landing on your pillow.

  • Diffuse Essential Oils. Lavender, Chamomile, Tea Tree, Lemon, Lemongrass, Bergamot and Eucalyptus essential oils are especially helpful oils for fighting allergies.

  • Be sure your chiropractor adjusts the upper part of your neck.

Allergies can cause sneezing, runny nose, itchy throat, and watery eyes… just to name a few symptoms.  The most common cause of these outdoor allergies are animal dander, dust mites, mold, pollen and air pollution.

Taking a shower before bed, drinking water, eliminating dairy, grains and processed foods, covering your pillow during the day, diffusing essential oils into your room and getting allergy adjustments from your chiropractor are great ways to fight and prevent outdoor allergies.

Although there are many factors that cause allergies, the above tips can help prevent and relieve the symptoms of outdoor allergies.  

“When it comes to your health, we’ve got your back!”

Anti-Aging Diet

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Kathryn Haynes, D.C.

Symptoms of chronic inflammation SPEED UP THE AGING PROCESS.  If you want to look YOUNGER and FEEL HEALTHIER, an “anti-aging diet” might do the trick.

Inflammation has a purpose to protect and heal the body.  The problem arises when your body has constant or chronic inflammation in it.  The constant/chronic inflammation can increase the aging process and cause headaches, neck pain, back pain, fibromyalgia, colitis, allergies… and the list goes on.

The list of foods you should avoid is very long… it is actually easier to focus on the foods that FIGHT the aging process and REDUCE inflammation.

ANTI-AGING and ANTI-INFLAMMATORY FOODS

  1. Kombucha (organic & raw)
  2. Kale
  3. Spinach
  4. Wild-caught salmon
  5. Tart cherries
  6. Nuts
  7. Turmeric

The above foods are stand-out anti-aging and anti-inflammatory.  With that said, simply EATING Organic Vegetables, Grass Fed Meat, and Wild-Caught Fish will have a dramatic effect on helping you look younger and feel better.

“When it comes to your health, I’ve got your back!”

15.Haynes

Kathryn Haynes is a wife, mother, public speaker, yoga enthusiast, chiropractor and the director of Total Health Chiropractic’s downtown location in Chattanooga, TN.

New Year Resolutions

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By Codie Burns, Social Media Coordinator

The end of December is always a bizarre time. Many people are busy stuffing themselves with as much non-nutritional food groups they can manage, while also making heavy plans to completely turn over a new leaf with the New Year. It’s common to make fun of the cliché New Year resolutions as quickly as they start they end. But if you do plan to commit to a change in the New Year, make sure to set yourself up for success! The popular resolution is weight loss or better yet getting healthy. Below you will find some great tips to make a resolution stick. Remember that self-improvement is not about a scale number.


Want it:

New Year resolutions shouldn’t be about what your family, friends or even coworkers want. If your resolution starts with “I should” chances are likely that you are feeling some outside pressures. Making positive lifestyle changes is hard work, and involves fighting through many obstacles.


Set Specific Goals:

Try not to be vague such as “I want to exercise more”, try goals such as “I want to go to the gym X times a week” or “I will run X miles per week”. This makes it much more difficult to make excuses for yourself and keeps you accountable for your goals. Specific goals also make tracking progress become more accurate.


One Thing At A Time:

We all know those resolutioners who start out with a laundry list of things they are vowing to change with the New Year. This year they will stop smoking, lose weight, change diet, be kinder to others, drive fewer miles etc. But this in long term is a bad plan for success. It becomes overwhelming and dilutes your main focus into many different sub categories. Pick one resolution to change for the good!