Why Massage and Chiropractic Go Well Together

Within the world of bodily therapy, there are several distinct disciplines that might help patients with varying conditions or symptoms find relief. Some who haven’t received these services may think chiropractic care and massage therapy are the same thing, for instance – this is not the case in reality.

At Apollo Health Centers, we can provide all these services and more, whether you deal with back pain, neck pain, joint pain or a number of other physical ailments. In many cases, we actually recommend complementing certain treatments of ours with others to get an increase comprehensive effect – there’s no requirement that you can only do one at a time, and compartmentalizing things can limit your treatment options. Massage therapy and chiropractic care are a great example of complementary services that work well together; let’s look at why this is the case, starting with what each area deals with individually.

Chiropractic Care

When we talk about chiropractic care, we’re really referring to a variety of adjustments that reduce the misalignments in your joints throughout the body, particularly in the spine. These misalignments are also called joint restrictions, and they can cause inflammation, pain, functional issues, and even issues with the body’s nervous system in some cases.

Using gentle pressure and low amounts of force, chiropractic treatments look to correct these restrictions and help reverse their symptoms. These treatments are done in a controlled environment, and allow many patients to feel relief virtually immediately after an adjustment. Over a period of time, these services can get to the root of these kinds of issues.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy, on the other hand, works to target muscles and tendons in the body rather than joints. A massage therapists manipulates these tendons and muscles to help relieve various forms of inflammation or pain that might be impacting them.

How They Combine

Chiropractic care and massage therapy are both fantastic services on their own, but they become even more powerful when combined with each other. Massage therapy is able to loosen and relax the muscles and tendons in the body, and this naturally makes chiropractic care both easier to apply and more impactful – this, in turn, means relief will last longer with each treatment.

The flip side here is true as well: Soft tissues heal more quickly after massage therapy if their underlying joints are properly aligned, and this is exactly what chiropractic care accomplishes. The combination also increases bodily function and communication through nervous system restriction reductions. People who use both services will often note better flexibility, improved circulation and blood flow, improved range of motion, and faster healing for standard aches and pains.

For more on why chiropractic care and massage therapy go well together, or for information on any of our physical therapy treatments, speak to the pros at Apollo Health Centers today.

How Dehydration and Back Pain Are Linked

At Apollo Health Centers, one of our primary goals when helping you find back pain relief is getting to the root of the pain itself. Pain symptoms often happen due to causes that might be slightly or even very different from the actual pain itself, and getting to a healthier place with the spine and neck often involves using chiropractic services to weed out these causes and address them.

One possible cause for back pain that many sufferers simply have never considered: Hydration. Water accounts for over half of the human body, and not having enough can have major physical effects all over – including the back. Let’s go over some of the links between dehydration and back pain, plus how to look out for signs of dehydration and keep yourself properly hydrated.

Link Between Dehydration and Back Pain

The spine is made up of a number of discs that take on a jelly-like texture – and this comes directly from the fact that they’re made up of about 75 percent water. Both the outer and inner rings of spinal discs are almost all water, with a harder section in the middle. As your waking day goes on, the spinal discs slowly release water. By the end of the day, in fact, you’re a little shorter than you were when you woke up that morning for just this reason.

But think about what this means for people who don’t get enough water. The discs generally rehydrate during sleep hours, allowing them to support the spine through the day. If they don’t have enough moisture, they’re at far higher risk of issues with handling the basic demands of the day. They won’t be able to absorb stress and will place more pressure on the spine.

Signs of Dehydration

Here are some common signs that you might be dehydrated:

  • You have strangely dry skin
  • Your urine is a darker orange or yellow color
  • You have bad breath for no good reason
  • You have significant fatigue or muscle cramps
  • You’re angry for no good reason
  • You have dry eyes or blurred vision
  • You have a headache with no other explanation
  • You have a fever or are dizzy with no other explanation

Staying Hydrated

In general, your daily goal should be to drink between a half-ounce and a full ounce of water for every pound you weigh. If you weigh 160 pounds, then, you should aim for at least 80 ounces of water each day, or more if you can. Here are some tips to help stay hydrated:

  • Download an app on your phone that helps you track your water consumed
  • Pay attention to the color of your urine through the day, and drink more if it becomes darker
  • Add flavoring – mint, juice, fresh fruits or veggies, or powders
  • Use a reusable water bottle, particularly one that tracks ounces
  • When working out, add electrolytes to your consumption as well as water

For more on how hydration and back pain connect, or to learn about any of our chiropractic treatments, speak to the staff at Apollo Health today.

Relaxation Techniques for Daily Life

At Apollo Health Centers, one of the primary aims of our chiropractic and massage therapy services is relaxation. Whether you’re recovering from an injury like whiplash or just looking to get properly aligned and be more comfortable on a daily basis, we can help you relax and allow our techniques to take hold.

What about outside our offices? Everyone needs to relax now and then for a variety of reasons, and this shouldn’t be limited to a chiropractic appointment. With that in mind, here are a few tips we can offer on relaxation techniques that can be performed absolutely anywhere.

Breathing

One of the strongest ways to achieve relaxation, both of the body and mind, is to engage in breathing exercises. There’s no single breathing exercise you have to learn here – there are several out there that can be enormously beneficial, including some meant to relieve tension in specific areas of the body.

These exercises can be done just about anywhere as long as you have the space to focus on yourself and your breathing. Consider the exercises you like most, and try out a few different ones as you get started to see which has the best relaxation effect.

Stretching

You should also be doing regular stretching exercises, which at times can be combined with breathing exercises. Stretching is a primary combatant against muscle tension, helping with everything from basic aches all the way to chronic pain and even mental health areas.

Once again, there are numerous options available to you here. Consider the stretches that work best for you, plus that fit with the times you have available to stretch and the space you have open to you. If you’re someone who develops pain due to sitting or standing for a long period at work, you can also consider ergonomic office furniture to help here.

Massage

One of the primary effects of massage is the way it improves blood circulation, which brings nutrients the body needs at quicker rates. It also helps relieve tension in muscles, which is great for people dealing with pain issues. It’s also known to benefit major psychological areas like stress, depression, sleep and overall life quality.

There are home massage techniques you can get into, particularly if you have a partner available. But there are even self-massaging techniques out there as well, plus therapeutic devices like massage balls or foot massagers.

Meditation

Many people use meditation or visualization techniques to relax when going to sleep, and this same theme can be applied throughout the day. Find ways to let your stresses slip from your mind, often combined with breathing exercises to help regulate things.

PMR

Short for progressive muscle relaxation, PMR is nearly a century old at this point. It’s a non-pharmacological method of relaxation based on reducing the thoughts that provoke muscle tension, and it can have effects on not only pain, but also on conditions like headaches, anxiety and others.

For more on various relaxation techniques, or to learn about any of our massage therapy or chiropractor treatments, speak to the staff at Apollo Health today.

Managing and Preventing Overuse Injuries

At Apollo Health Centers, some of our top services include the management of chronic pain. There are several types of chronic pain that may take place for a variety of reasons, and our chiropractic and pain management therapy services can help you manage and even eliminate these conditions.

One of the most common basic causes of chronic and general pain? Overuse injuries, which can take place in more circumstances than you may have thought and could contribute significantly to your pain. Here are some simple areas on managing and even preventing overuse injuries.

Overuse Injury Basics

A big mistake with overuse injuries comes in assuming they can only take place in high-intensity sports or exercises. This couldn’t be further from the truth – you can be at risk for an overuse injury even if you never go near such activities. They can be obtained from something as simple as typing or walking; anything that serves as a repeated motion and may stress joints or muscles could qualify. Many people sustain overuse injuries without thinking they’re even at risk for them.

Getting to the Root

To properly treat and limit overuse injuries, the vital first step is identifying what’s causing them. This is usually simple, as it involves figuring out the kinds of high-strain or high-stress motions you do regularly in your life, whether during activity or otherwise.

Creating Exercise Balance

Once you’ve identified the important areas, it’s important to work on balancing out workouts and load management. This begins with stretching, which helps loosen and strengthen muscles that might be weak due to overuse.

It continues during actual exercise, as well. Cross-training, or working various muscle group and bodily areas regularly, is a huge factor in keeping things balanced and avoiding stressing one area too much. For those who are already into cross-training, consider something like yoga to even further help your flexibility and lower your muscle tension.

Rest and Management

Part of avoiding overuse is creating a strong core, but some people overdo this area and end up making things worse. Rest and pain management are also important – the body needs at least one day of rest per week to recover. In addition, regular chiropractic adjustments and other forms of massage therapy are great complements to basic ice and heat to help manage inflammation and any recurring pain.

For more on managing and even eliminating overuse injuries, or for any of our chiropractic or pain management services, speak to the pros at Apollo Health today.

Chiropractors and Asthma Care

At Apollo Health Centers, we’re proud to provide chiropractic services for a wide variety of areas. The body is a large connected organism, and balance throughout numerous areas is important for overall health – that’s a big emphasis of our chiropractic treatments.

A perfect example of this is the benefits we can help provide for those who suffer from asthma. While we cannot claim to cure this condition by any means, we can adjust thoracic spine segments to help make the lungs more comfortable and improve everything from lung capacity to reduced asthma symptoms. Here are some basics on asthma as a condition, plus how our care can help.

Asthma Basics and Complications

Asthma is considered a chronic disease, one where sufferers have regular, repeated episodes of wheezing and trouble breathing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, asthma affects about one in every 13 people, and is the leading chronic disease in children.

During an asthma attack, the bronchial tube linings in the lungs become swollen. This narrows them, leading to less airflow in and out of the lungs. In addition to breathlessness and similar symptoms, this can lead to complications like fatigue, sleep issues, and trouble concentrating.

How Chiropractic Care Can Help

As we noted above, we cannot cure asthma – no such cure is known. However, we can use the health of the spine to impact the way the entire body, including the lungs, functions. We can adjust thoracic segments, including those that connect to nerves involved with the lungs and bronchial tubes.

In many cases, a thoracic spine that’s not fully aligned can interfere with the lungs’ ability to expand during breathing. Some simple spinal adjustments, though, can restore alignment and full range of motion, expanding the lungs’ capacity and helping reduce asthma symptoms. In many cases, our natural treatments are great complements to existing treatments you’ve been given by a doctor.

For more on how a chiropractor can help with asthma, or to learn about any of our massage therapy or physical therapy services, speak to the staff at Apollo Health today.

Basics and Tips for Stretching

Whether you’re dealing with serious whiplash symptoms or just looking for a bit more general comfort, stretching can be a huge benefit. Stretching is both cheap and easy, requiring no equipment or special training, and can provide enormous positives for people in areas ranging from pain relief to posture and many more.

At Apollo Health Centers, our chiropractic services include recommending great, low-impact stretches to help complement our chiropractic treatments. Let’s look at some specifics on how stretching benefits the spine and the entire body, plus offer you some basic tips for stretching.

Stretching Benefits

Stretching has shown benefits in several areas, including balance and flexibility. It allows for more ease of movement through stretching out various muscles. It’s also highly valuable for pain reduction – it can reduce everything from back pain to muscle soreness.

The list goes on, indeed. Stretching can help many people relax, a vital area given how big a role stress plays in certain injuries or chronic pain. Stretching improves circulation, a huge part of spinal alignment, and many people find it improves their mental alertness. It’s a known tactic to help fight off fatigue.

Stretching Steps and Tips

Some basic tips we can offer when it comes to stretching:

  • Before starting, warm up the muscles using dynamic but simple movements. These might include slow pedaling on an exercise bike, doing jumping jacks or jogging around the room a few times.
  • When you do begin stretching, do so slowly and in control. There’s no need for any sharp or rapid movement – this can actually damage muscles in some cases. Also, despite what you may see some others (incorrectly) doing, you should not bounce or bob up and down while stretching. This is less effective than simply holding the stretch, and like sharp movements, it can risk injury to muscles.
  • As you’re stretching, use your breathing tactically. Exhale at the start of each stretch, then breathe normally through the stretch while holding each move for at least 20 seconds.
  • Expect to feel a slight stretch or discomfort in the muscles. If you feel true pain here, though, or if you feel even minor discomfort in joints rather than muscles, stop and assess your form.
  • Stretch both sides of the body equally.

For more on how stretching can benefit you, or to learn about how our chiropractic or massage services can help, speak to the staff at Apollo Health today.

Checking and Improving Seated Posture

When it comes to back pain and back pain relief, there are several important factors at play. And while areas like genetics and incidents like accidents or trauma can be among these factors, perhaps the largest single factor across every case of back pain in the world is a simpler one: Posture, especially while sitting.

At Apollo Health Centers, our chiropractic services involve not only providing treatments, but also expertise on basic areas like back pain relief. Let’s go over some simple ways to check your posture and change any bad habits here, with the hopes of limiting any pain you have.

Checking Posture

You can check your posture anytime you’re sitting in a chair. Here are some basic questions to ask yourself as part of your check:

  • Are you sitting in a chair that provides the proper support? Does the backrest fit comfortable with the curve of your spine?
  • Are your knees at a 90-degree angle, with feet flat on the ground and your shoulders, back and buttocks up against the chair’s backrest?
  • Are your shoulders hunched in a forward position, or even and relaxed?
  • Is your body weight distributed equally across your hips?
  • Are your knees level with the hips?

If you answered in the negative for any of these questions, chances are you’re putting more stress on your spine than you need to be. Even if you aren’t feeling back pain as a result right now, you’re at higher risk for it.

Changing Your Habits

If you decide it’s time to change some habits when it comes to posture, there are a few basic tips to follow. Start by making time every day to stand up and stretch for at least 45 minutes total throughout a given day – this is good for your back, and also stops you from sitting in the same position for too long at once. Other small breaks are advisable, especially if you notice you’re a chronic sloucher. You might also consider a change to your chair or desk if you discover this is contributing to your negative posture.

For more on sitting posture, or to learn about any of our chiropractic treatments and how they can help with back pain, speak to the pros at Apollo Health today.

Preventing Back Pain Surrounding Pregnancy

For expecting or new mothers, back pain can be a simple reality. Both during pregnancy and even for months after birth, mothers who have undergone significant physical changes as part of pregnancy often deal with aches, pains and other back issues.

At Apollo Health Centers, we’re here to help. Our chiropractic care services include many helpful areas for currently or recently pregnant women. Here are some basic home tips for warding off back pain immediately after pregnancy.

When Lifting the Baby

When lifting your baby, always be sure to lift with your legs primarily. Bend from the knees, squat down low, tighten the core, and then get your primary thrust from the legs – do not attempt to lift from the back or hips.

Down similar lines, take the proper arm posturing as well. Bring your baby in close to your chest rather than stretching your arms out fully, which can place pressure on the back. While you’re holding the baby, avoid any major twisting motions.

When Feeding the Baby

  • If you’re breastfeeding, don’t bend over the baby. Rather, bring the baby to your breast. If needed, put a pillow or two on your lap for more support here.
  • Sit in an upright chair or position rather than a soft couch.
  • Remove the tray when taking the baby out of a high chair.

While Exercising

  • Make sure you’re cleared for various types of exercise by your obstetrician, and discuss the activities you are safe to participate in.
  • Begin by restoring hip and back flexibility using light stretching or yoga exercises.
  • Look for ways to strengthen the core muscles, particularly if you had a C-section birth.

Care and Travel for Baby

  • When walking with the baby, use a front pack if possible.
  • When placing a child in a car seat, kneel on the back seat as you do so rather than standing outside the car and placing them inside.
  • Avoid carrying children on your hip, as this can strain back muscles.
  • Don’t carry your infant in the car seat itself – instead, fasten the seat into the car and carry the baby separately.

For more on preventing back pain after pregnancy, or to learn about how our chiropractor and chiropractic treatments can help, speak to the pros at Apollo Health today.

Signs Chiropractic Care Could Benefit You

In many cases, the only time someone considers visiting a chiropractor is after a specific negative event like an accident or sudden pain. In essence, many assume that chiropractic care is a cure for something that’s wrong – and not as a prevention method.

At Apollo Health Centers, we’re here to tell you that this is not the case. Our chiropractic services are indeed perfect for anyone suffering from pain from a recent trauma, but they’re also perfect for several other chronic issues and basic comfort elements. Let’s look at some of the signs that you could benefit from our chiropractic treatments.

Chronic Pain

Instead of running straight to the medicine cabinet, try chiropractic are for your chronic pain issues. Many chronic pain in joints and muscles ties directly back to issues with musculoskeletal alignment, exactly the sort of thing we can help with. We’ll help get all systems back into play – they’re meant to work together as one big engine, and chiropractic treatments can help make this happen.

Sharp Pain

If you notice a sharp pain down the leg, or any tingling or weakness in the leg, this could be a sign of a pinched nerve or a slipped disc. Again, while pain medications might help here, chiropractic treatments are some of the best ways to permanently solve the problem rather than placing a temporary Band-Aid over it. Spinal adjustments can relieve major pressure being placed on nerves and discs, and can often solve these problems.

Headaches and Migraines

There are many causes for headaches, but one of the most common is general misalignments in the neck and upper back. If you can’t seem to find an answer for your frequent headaches, a simple adjustment might do more than you had ever expected. Migraine sufferers often find similar results, particularly in the reduction in intensity and frequency of migraines.

Activity and Inactivity

Both ends of this spectrum can potentially benefit from chiropractic services. For people who sit for long periods of time, perhaps for a job, posture and pressure on the neck and back can be major concerns that lead to significant pain – but chiropractic adjustments can help. The same can go for extremely active people, who put their bodies through more wear and tear than the average person and can always benefit from general adjustments to areas that become out of whack.

Want to learn more about the signs you need chiropractic treatment, or need information on any of our services? Speak to the experts at Apollo Health today.

Why Diabetes Patients Use Chiropractors

For people who have it, diabetes is one of the most invasive and life-altering diseases out there. It can affect everything from energy levels to several vital aspects of health, and can cause life-threatening complications in some serious cases.

It’s not natural to think about chiropractic care in the same realm as a disease like diabetes, which relates mostly to blood sugar levels and the pancreas, but there’s much more of a connection between the two than you might think. At Apollo Chiropractic, we offer specific chiropractic treatments to diabetes patients which have helped many people manage or prevent symptoms. Let’s look at how massage therapy and chiropractic treatments can affect diabetes, and a few treatments that are available.

Central Nervous System

While diabetes has typically been linked mostly to the pancreas and levels of blood sugar content in the body, there’s been evidence emerging in recent years that diabetes is more than just an endocrine or autoimmune issue – that it might be linked to functions in the central nervous system.

This research remains ongoing, but it suggests that some of the key nerves supplied to the pancreas are generated from the middle of the back and the upper neck. If these nerves fail in any of their tasks, it can affect pancreatic function, and therefore can result in the sort of insulin issues we commonly see in diabetes.

Preventive Elements

Because chiropractors focus in part on restoring and maintaining function of the central nervous system, this can be a great tool for preventing early onset of diabetes, or preventing symptoms from growing worse. The nerves to the pancreas can be strongly affected by misalignments in the spine, and correct adjustments may cause them to improve pancreatic function overall. In addition, the central nervous system affects more than just diabetes within the body – keeping it healthy promotes health in other areas, as well.

Treatment

For current diabetes patients, regular chiropractic visits can help fight the progression of the disease and maintain your body’s overall stability. There’s not yet any concrete evidence that chiropractic care can cure or reverse diabetes, but it’s been shown to help reduce symptoms and increase comfort. Your chiropractor can also help you with exercise programs and other outside elements involved in diabetic care.

Want to learn more about this or any of our other chiropractic services? Speak to the friendly professionals at Apollo Chiropractic today.