Nunez Chiro

Dr. Juan Nunez – Chiropractic & Wellness

Four Resolutions for a Healthier Back in 2011

June 28th, 2011

Eat more vegetables. Stress less. Take the kids out to the park more often. You may already have a long list of resolutions for 2011. This year, honor your spine, too. With the help of your doctor of chiropractic, these simple steps can promote a healthier back in 2011.

Consider replacing your pillow or mattress.

Do you wake up with aches and pains? It could be time to purchase a new mattress or pillow. The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) recommends finding a mattress that evenly supports your whole body. There should be no gaps between you and the mattress when you lie down. When choosing a pillow, select one that supports your head and neck in alignment with the rest of the spine, whether you sleep on your side or back. Keep in mind that what works for your partner may not work for you— there isn’t one mattress or pillow that fits everyone. Simple adjustments, such as adding foam padding, can help tremendously.

Re-evaluate your posture at work.

Americans spend an average of 44 hours at work every week— often behind a desk. To avoid poor posture that can lead to tension, back pain, and joint problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome, check that your chair is the right size and adjusted correctly, says the ACA. Do your feet rest comfortably on the ground? Does the chair offer lumbar support? Are you able to tilt or swivel easily while performing tasks at your desk? Also, be sure you have adequate light (so that you aren’t straining to see documents or a computer screen), adjust your computer monitor so that it is at eye level, and wear a headset for longer telephone conversations. And don’t forget to take frequent breaks and stretch throughout the day.

Learn how to lift correctly.

Many back injuries are caused by improper lifting of items such as luggage, backpacks or briefcases, storage boxes, or even groceries. But knowing how to lift properly can prevent serious injury. First and foremost, don’t bend from the waist. Keep your back straight, and squat to reach the item. Then, keep it close to your body as you lift, and avoid twisting motions. When traveling, check all bags that weigh more than 10 percent of your body weight.

Eat right and exercise well.

Eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise helps your body stay toned and tension-free— and promotes a healthy weight and a happier spine. Smart exercise and a good diet can also prevent osteoporosis, which affects over 20 million American women. To start, the ACA recommends eating out at restaurants less (to reduce the amount of unhealthful fats and sugars you consume) and adding more fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to your diet. Aim for a minimum of 20 to 30 minutes of exercise, three or four days a week.

(Reference:  Resolutions for a Healthier Back, Austin Chiropractic Center Inc. Louisville, CO.)

Doctors of Chiropractic Commend Injury Prevention Awareness

June 19th, 2011

Arlington, Va. — The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) reminds everyone that doctors of chiropractic can help play an important role in the prevention and treatment of many common injuries. This reminder comes as communities across the country are observing National Public Health Week 2011 (NPHW). The theme of this year’s observance—“Safety is NO Accident”—focuses on preventing injury at home, work or play.
In general, doctors of chiropractic promote the value of prevention as a key component of health and wellness. They routinely provide recommendations to patients on topics such as proper lifting techniques, improving balance through exercise, workstation ergonomics and using mobile technology safely—all of which can prevent injury. This week, ACA is highlighting its library of patient information and videos offering tips on how to prevent injuries at home, work and play.

Should injury occur, doctors of chiropractic offer expert examination and treatment that gets patients back to work, in the game and able to enjoy their activities of daily living.

“Injuries happen in a split second, but have lasting consequences,” said ACA Vice President Keith Overland, DC. “However, simple preventative measures, a healthy lifestyle and appropriate health care will reduce the number of injuries a person experiences and minimize the impact of any injuries that do occur.”

Since 1995, when the first full week of April was declared NPHW, communities across the country have celebrated and recognized the contributions of public health and highlighted issues that are important to improving the public’s health.

The American Public Health Association (APHA) serves as the organizer of NPHW and develops a national campaign to educate the public, policy-makers and practitioners about issues related to that year’s theme. APHA creates comprehensive planning, organizing and outreach materials that can be used during and after the week to raise awareness. APHA has featured a section devoted to chiropractic and its role in public health since 1995.

For more information about how doctors of chiropractic can help prevent and treat common injuries, visit http://www.acatoday.org/prevention.

For general information about this year’s NPHW observance, visit http://www.nphw.org/nphw11/first1.htm.

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA), based in Arlington, Va., is the largest professional association in the United States representing doctors of chiropractic. ACA promotes the highest standards of patient care and ethics, and supports research that contributes to the health and well-being of millions of chiropractic patients. Visit www.acatoday.org.

Senate Bill to Expand Veterans’ Access to Chiropractic Care Introduced

June 19th, 2011

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and the Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC) commend Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) for introducing legislation in the U.S. Senate designed to fully integrate chiropractic care as a covered service within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system.
The bill, S.1147, specifically requires the VA to have a doctor of chiropractic on staff at all of its major medical facilities by 2014. The legislation was introduced on June 6, and has been referred to the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs.

ACA believes that integrating the services provided by doctors of chiropractic into the VA health care system would be cost-effective and speed the recovery of many veterans returning from current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. A February 2010 report from the Veterans Health Administration indicates that about half of all veterans returning from the Middle East and Southwest Asia who have sought VA health care were treated for symptoms associated with musculoskeletal ailments – the top complaint of those tracked for the report.

“ACA and ACC applaud the work of Sen. Blumenthal as he continues to advance causes that positively impact our nation’s veterans,” said ACA President Rick McMichael, DC. “America’s heroes are suffering from chronic, disabling pain, and yet many remain unable to access the beneficial care provided by doctors of chiropractic. I hope that Congress will act in our veterans’ best interest and pass this important legislation.”

“We are extremely grateful to Sen. Blumenthal for his sponsorship of this critically important legislation that will allow doctors of chiropractic to expand their vital services to our nation’s veterans within the VA health care system,” said ACC President Richard Brassard, DC. “A long list of studies, including a recent study from Johns Hopkins University, have reinforced that musculoskeletal injuries are the primary threat to our active-duty military. This legislation will help ensure that we have enough doctors of chiropractic in place within the VA health care network to serve these soldiers and provide them with the care that they have earned and deserve when they finally come home as veterans.”

Sen. Blumenthal is a recognized champion for veterans throughout the country. He served with the United States Marine Corps Reserves and was honorably discharged with the rank of sergeant.

A companion bill, H.R. 329, was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in February by Rep. Bob Filner (D-Calif.). Through previous congressional action, chiropractic care is now available at more than 40 VA facilities across the country; however, in the more than 100 major facilities without a doctor of chiropractic on staff, the chiropractic care benefit Congress authorized for America’s veterans remains virtually non-existent. Detroit, Denver and Chicago are examples of major metropolitan areas without a doctor of chiropractic available at the local VA medical facility. According to John Falardeau, ACA’s vice president of Government Relations, without a congressional directive, further expansion to VA facilities will be on a case-by-case basis and will experience significant delays.

To view the full text of S.1147, click here, then contact your Senators and urge them to cosponsor the bill. If you have questions or would like more information, please contact gr@acatoday.org.

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA), based in Arlington, Va., is the largest professional association in the United States representing doctors of chiropractic. ACA promotes the highest standards of patient care and ethics, and supports research that contributes to the health and well-being of millions of chiropractic patients. Visit www.acatoday.org.

Conservative Pain Management a First-Line Defense Against Prescription Drug Abuse Crisis

June 19th, 2011

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) applauds federal efforts to curb prescription drug abuse following the U.S. government’s announcement in late April that the problem has reached crisis level. ACA encourages patients and health care providers to explore drug-free, conservative approaches to pain management as a first-line defense against painkiller abuse.
The government’s report, “Epidemic: Responding to America’s Prescription Drug Abuse Crisis,” notes that while the use of some illegal drugs has diminished, the abuse of prescription medications has sharply increased, particularly prescription opioid pain relievers such as Oxycontin and Vicodin. It points out unintentional opioid overdoses—once almost exclusively the fate of heroin abusers—are today increasingly caused by prescription painkiller abuse.

“This new report shows that while sometimes the use of these powerful drugs may be necessary, their overuse and abuse can lead to deadly consequences. The chiropractic profession offers non-drug interventions for pain relief,” said ACA President Dr. Rick McMichael. “We urge health care providers, whenever possible, to recommend drug-free conservative care interventions for their patients before prescribing medications that may be associated with harmful side effects. It’s critical that patients know their options.”

The government report outlines a four-part strategy to reduce the incidence of overdose caused by painkiller abuse, including increased education; monitoring of “doctor-shoppers” who obtain multiple prescriptions; the safe disposal of prescription medications; and cracking down on “pill mill” clinics that dispense hundreds of pills per patient. ACA believes prevention is also key and that increased use of conservative approaches for pain management may curb the need for painkillers and thereby reduce the likelihood of patient dependency, overuse and possible overdose.

Chiropractic care is best known for its effectiveness in treating painful conditions such as back pain, neck pain, and headaches—which are serious causes of disability in the United States. According to the U.S. Bone and Joint Decade, the number of prescription medications has increased in the past 10 years. Chiropractic care may lessen or eliminate the need for medications in some cases and help patients avoid unnecessary surgery. Chiropractic physicians treat the whole person, promote wellness and strive to address the underlying cause of patients’ ailments, not just their symptoms.

Current evidence-based guidelines support the use of conservative care such as chiropractic for conditions such as chronic lower back pain. In 2007, the Annals of Internal Medicine published low back pain guidelines developed by the American Pain Society and the American College of Physicians recommending that, for patients who do not improve with self-care, doctors should consider non-pharmacologic therapies such as chiropractic care, massage therapy and acupuncture.

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA), based in Arlington, Va., is the largest professional association in the United States representing doctors of chiropractic. ACA promotes the highest standards of patient care and ethics, and supports research that contributes to the health and well-being of millions of chiropractic patients. Visit www.acatoday.org.

Common Causes of High Blood Pressure

June 12th, 2011

One of the worst things about high blood pressure is that it’s possible to have it without knowing it. You may not have any early or obvious symptoms, so it is imperative for everyone, regardless of age, to make sure you get your blood pressure taken on a regular basis.  As with most health disorders, prevention is definitely the best medicine, and many common causes of high blood pressure can be controlled or avoided altogether.

Smoking and High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can be caused by many things, and smoking ranks right up there as a leading and very preventable cause. And, high blood pressure is just one of the conditions that can be caused by smoking. Regular smoking hardens the arteries and creates dangerous blockages, which can cause or worsen high blood pressure. The more you smoke, the more you are at risk for both high blood pressure as well as other dangerous cardiac conditions.  The fact is, that smoking to any degree at all, and even exposure to second hand smoke, can increase your risk of hypertension. While it’s not always easy to quit smoking, it’s well worth the effort, especially if you already suffer from high blood pressure.  And, positive health changes occur in your body, starting the very first hour after quitting.

Alcohol and High Blood Pressure

If you consume too much alcohol, then you are almost certain to have at least episodes of higher blood pressure, if not chronic high blood pressure. Alcohol consumption is tricky when it comes to your health, because many experts now believe that light to moderate drinking may be good for your heart. It’s clear, however, that regularly consuming more than two drinks per day of any alcoholic beverage poses more risks than benefits to your health. For people who have trouble controlling their alcohol consumption, it’s preferable for them to stay away from it than to overindulge. Alcohol, then, may be beneficial in small doses, but heavy drinking raises your blood pressure, as well as the other risks it poses to your health.  If you are a recovering addict, or don’t normally drink, staying away from alcohol of all kinds is best.

Drugs and High Blood Pressure

There are also a variety of medications and drugs that can cause hypertension. People addicted to street drugs, especially “uppers”, meth or cocaine, are very susceptible to high blood pressure. Many prescription drugs, and even those prescribed for depression or birth control, can also cause hypertension, and can be a frequent and common side effect while taking them. Depending on the ingredients, lots of over-the-counter medications can also raise blood pressure.  Always read the labels on any medications you take, especially the list of side effects.  And, don’t be shy about bringing this up with your doctor, as well as other possible alternative medications and treatment options. Never be afraid to ask your doctor to change your medication or the dosage if you think it may be causing a problem.

Diet and High Blood Pressure

People who have high blood pressure must look at how they eat.  A wholesome and well balanced diet is crucial for good heart health.  It is imperative that you eliminate ALL trans-fats from your diet, as well as high fructose corn syrup, both of which are absolute poison to the body.  You also want to eliminate all artificial sweeteners, with the exception of stevia, and minimize your sugar intake.  The bulk of your diet should be fresh fruits and vegetables, lean organic meat and fish, and choose potatoes over rice or pasta for your starch food.  High blood pressure is something that can be controlled, as long as you are willing to take responsibility for your diet and lifestyle.

While there are additional causes of high blood pressure, these are amongst the most common, as well as the most preventable and reversible of causes.  Being proactive with regards to our health, is a much easier path to health and well-being, vs. being reactive after our poor diet and poor lifestyle habits have caused harm.  Heeding these high blood pressure prevention tips will not only help you avoid high blood pressure in the first place, but it can also help reverse it if you already have it.

(article courtesy of The Healthy Living Site)