Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Supplement of the Month: L-Theanine

by Kristin Stromberg, ATC

September is officially here, and we all know what that means: school is back in session. For parents, this means taking your children to football, dance, cheerleading, swimming, piano lessons, tennis, tutors and much more. Your kids become overwhelmed with homework, reading, working on book reports, and studying for daunting tests. As a result, we are more vulnerable to stress and anxiety. Sometimes we need an extra boost, and luckily, L-Theanine can provide just that.

What is L-Theanine?

L-Theanine is a relaxing and non-dietary amino acid found pretty much exclusively in teas Camellia sinensis (mostly green and black tea) and is known to promote relaxation without sedation. The crucial difference seems to be not in whether the tea is green or black, but how young the tea leaves are at harvest. Theanine is found in highest concentrations in the buds and young leaves of the tea plant (1). It is available as a supplement that helps relieve anxiety. Theanine should be considered as a herbal remedy rather than a supplement, since it’s not found naturally in your body. As a result, like many herbs, it works to boost your body’s functioning in a natural way.

If you’re wanting to boost GABA levels in your brain (which will reduce anxiety for many people) then taking theanine might just be the perfect way to do it. Not only does theanine boost GABA (an inhibitory neurotransmitter), it also tones down some of the stimulating neurotransmitters that make you anxious (2). Moreover, it boosts brain dopamine – which is one of the “feel good” neurotransmitters – which may be the reason many people report feelings of well-being and mental focus when they take theanine.

Can’t I just drink tea instead??? Of course you can!! Some people do not like the taste of tea or they do not have the ability to make tea (at work or out and about throughout their day) and prefer to take a capsule or in liquid form. It is easy to travel with and you do not have to worry about carrying tea bags.

What are the Side Effects?

After 50 years of continual research, there are no known side effects(3). Thus, the only precaution would be if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or wanting to become pregnant. However, this applies to any supplement or vitamin, and therefore, you should always consult with your doctor. There have been no known interactions of theanine with other prescriptions or over the counter drugs. Past studies have found that theanine helps improve the efficacy of anti-cancer drugs by enhancing their effectiveness and reducing their side effects. Altogether, once a patient is able to relax mentally,  they will allow their bodies to focus on self-healing.

 

Dr. Jordan and Dr. Jade are offering a FREE consultation to see if taking L-Theanine can work for you. By mentioning this blog you can receive our L-Theanine liquid for 20% off until the 30th of September!! Call today at 847-362-4476.

 

  1. Liu, Zhi-Wei, et al. “L-Theanine Content and Related Gene Expression: Novel Insights into Theanine Biosynthesis and Hydrolysis among Different Tea Plant (Camellia Sinensis L.) Tissues and Cultivars.” Frontiers in Plant Science, Frontiers Media S.A., 7 Apr. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5383724/.
  2. Nobre, A C, et al. “L-Theanine, a Natural Constituent in Tea, and Its Effect on Mental State.” Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition., U.S. National Library of Medicine, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18296328.
  3. “L-Theanine Uses, Benefits & Side Effects – Drugs.com Herbal Database.” Drugs.com, Drugs.com, www.drugs.com/npc/l-theanine.html.

5 Ways to Boost Your Energy at Work

by Emily Bauer, CMA(AAMA)

I’m not sure about you, but about 3:30 pm every single day my brain decides to turn off and stop working. I tend to get tired and antsy at the same time, which leads to some seriously shameful unproductiveness. Seeing as the boss (as most bosses do), frowns upon dilly dallying till 5 pm, I decided that I needed to find some ways to boost my energy levels. Here’s a few simple ideas that I’ve found help keep you going till the very last second.

1.Get Moving!

Yes, I know it sounds cliche, but seriously. Get up and go to the bathroom, empty your shred pile, or just take a lap around the office! Your body needs occasional movement to change channels and get oxygen flowing. You don’t need to be away from your desk for an hour but little breaks to stretch your legs here or there won’t hurt.Keeping your body warmed up will prepare you for whatever tasks your boss might throw at you.

  1. Eat Well.

I’ll admit that snacking is my weakness. I’ve found that when I sit at my desk and snack all day, I can barely function in the afternoon. Couple that with a large lunch and I’m done for. If this is something you struggle with, try to start strategic eating. Plan a few healthy snacks to get you through the day, my favorite being apples and almonds. Prepare your lunch the night before so you can make sure you won’t end up ordering out for lunch or grabbing something frozen. Don’t let a food coma stop you from reaching your #goals.  There are many additives in food that may be making you drowsy.  Dairy is a big culprit, but to find out for sure it may be time for a food sensitivity test!

  1. Take Your Vitamins at Lunch

If you’re an awesome person then you’re taking your multivitamins. If this is the case, then try taking them with your lunch and see if that makes a difference. I currently take Salutogenic Life’s Life Pack for Women, which has a couple different vitamins including a B vitamin which really helps with energy. If you have  chronic issues with energy (even when you’re not at work), it might be a good idea to contact your practitioner to check your vitamin levels, you might find you have deficiencies such as iron or B12.

  1. Streeeetch!

If you’re a multitasker, this is a good one for you to do while you’re taking your walk! If you can’t get away from your desk and you’re stuck staring at your screen all day, try to slip in a few neck and shoulder stretches. This helps fatigued muscles that have been stuck in one position and may also increase energy by decreasing muscle discomfort. If you’re starting to feel stiff, stretch it out!

  1. Ditch the Coffee.

GASP! Yes, I did just say that. I know coffee is the go to drink when you start to feel the brain turning off, but just hear me out. Two words. Green. Tea. This is such a great source of caffeine without getting the jitters! This allows me to be more productive without bouncing off the walls. Green tea also contains an amino acid called L-theanine that helps the brain. The combination of caffeine and L-theanine leads to improved brain function and the ability to focus. BOOM. I don’t think I need to say more.

So there you have it. I know not everyone has energy issues at work, but for those who do the struggle is real. As I mentioned before, if energy is something that is constantly a problem or if you’re just tired of dealing with it, give our office a call at 847.362.4476 for a free consultation.

Finding the reason for your low energy will allow you to find the proper treatment. Until then, try out these easy tips to help you out through the day!

Oh Cramp! I Got a Spasm!

by Kaity Mclenithan, ATC

Differences Between Muscles Cramps, Spasms, and Soreness

Who has ever woken up in the middle of the night with the dreaded charlie horse cramp in their calf?? We have all heard about it but have you ever wondered why it happens? Listed below are the differences between a muscle cramp, muscle spasm and muscle soreness and how to help deal with and prevent them.

A muscle cramp is an involuntary muscle contraction. Meaning that the muscles fires without your control, and usually lasts for a short period of time.  There are many possible causes for muscles cramps such as: dehydration, electrolyte loss/imbalance, loss of sodium, low levels of magnesium, muscle fatigue, and lack of oxygen.

A muscle spasm is a reflex to something else that is going on in the body or trauma. There are two types of spasms that can take place: clonic and tonic. Clonic is an involuntary contraction that alternates between contraction and relaxation. Tonic is a hard, constant muscle contraction that lasts for a span of time. Muscle spasms can also cause muscle strains.

Muscle soreness is pain caused by overexertion from physical activity. This most commonly happens when people try something new in their exercise routine/new activity or try a new class.  Unfortunately, the older people get the more often this tends to happen. There are two types of soreness acute and delayed-onset.

Acute muscle soreness happens when the muscle is fatigued.  This can happen during or directly after exercise. Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) occurs 24 to 48 hours after exercise, and usually subsides 3-4 days later.  DOMS can be characterized by increased muscle tension, stiffness and the muscle being resistant to stretching. Possible causes of this can be small tears in the muscle and disruption of the connective tissue of muscle tendon fibers.

 

How To Prevent DOMS

  1. Start with an exercise routine of moderate activity and intensity, and then gradually increasing activity and intensity.
  2. Stay Hydrated. It is imperative to drink water throughout the day, and not just pre and post workout.  Your body will thank you.
  3. Be consistent with your stretching, foam rolling and lacrosse ball.  These increase blood flow to your muscles, decrease knots and trigger points and help prevent lactic acid build up.
  4. Add Branch Chain Amino Acids during and after your workout.  BCAA’s are great to add to your water bottle to improve athletic performance, aid in muscle recovery as well as help preserve lean muscle mass.
  5. Supplement with Magnesium.  Magnesium will help with leg cramps as well as soreness.

 

Making sure you are not depleted in certain minerals such as magnesium and potassium is important as mentioned above. Even with all of the foods we consume throughout the day we still may need a little help. Magnesium helps to relax the muscles and decrease the risk of them cramping as well as other health benefits including relieving constipation! If the muscle seems to not want to relax then you may find other techniques such as massage therapy or graston therapy may help.

If you are having muscle issues and is not sure what can be done, call the office for your FREE consultation at 847-362-4476. Mention this blog to receive 15% off a foam roller or Tiger Tail and also 20% off our magnesium or BCAA supplement today!

Probiotics : What They Are & Why You Need Them

by Kristin Stromberg, ATC

When I started this blog and typed in probiotics into Google, I was overwhelmed with how much information there was about probiotics. From the top 10 brands to warnings about probiotics. With all of that information out there how do you know what is right? Does it really matter which brand to get?

As a matter of fact; yes it does matter where you buy your probiotics. You can refer to a previous blog regarding tiers of vitamins as that applies to probiotics as well.  It is imperative that your probiotics along with any vitamins you take come not only from reputable sources, but that the manufacturers are at a bare minimum cGMP compliant.  At our office, we will only recommend physician grade supplements because they are the most highly regulated on the market.  The manufacturers that we utilize test every batch for quality, safety and effectiveness.  Not only that, but they are free of fillers and binders.  

The question we get asked the most often is, “Why are your probiotics in the fridge and not out with the rest of your vitamin/supplement line? I can get them at Osco, Walgreens or other places right off the shelf.”

Probiotic products contain millions and even billions of live cultures of friendly bacteria and require appropriate handling to maintain their maximum activity during storage. Probiotics are essential to gut health but they also can help with allergies, decrease inflammation, improve auto-immune disorders and more.

The potency of probiotics can be adversely affected by prolonged exposure to high temperature and humidity, water and the amount of air it is exposed to. Don’t forget these are live bacteria!  You should also avoid touching the capsules as much as possible. Pour the desired number of capsules into the cap so that any extra can be put back in the bottle without handling to avoid introducing moisture present on the hands into the product. Always use a clean, dry spoon to measure probiotic powders.

Can probiotics survive if they are not in the fridge at all times? Yes they can. If you are traveling or going to work, putting them in a separate container will be fine. They can be left at room temperature for a few weeks. After that the capsule will start to turn dark brown and they are no longer viable and should be thrown out.

There are some brands that have each probiotic individually wrapped.  Each vegetarian capsule is sealed in nitrogen-purged aluminum blister packs to serve as protection from factors proven to compromise stability of probiotics such as heat, moisture, and oxygen. This is also a great way for each probiotic not to be exposed to each other and you do not have to worry about the whole batch. They are easier to travel with since they do not need to be in the fridge.

Probiotics are essential for gut health and immune health.  They should have AT LEAST 25 billion CFU per capsule or serving.  This is for broad spectrum use, meaning this type is great for basic everyday use.  If we are treating specific conditions such as IBS, colitis, leaky gut, prolonged antibiotic usage, chronic yeast infections and others, we may use a more specific probiotic strain OR a probiotic with over 100 billion CFU per serving.

You can get probiotics from food including, but not limited to yogurt, kefir, kombucha, kimchi and other fermented foods.  We have found in practice that it’s great to get a variety of probiotics.  Adding some of those foods in your diet is a good start, and supplementing with a broad spectrum probiotic is the icing on the cake!

If you have any questions about probiotics please give us a call at 847-362-4476 for a FREE consultation with one of the doctors. Mention this blog to get 20% off probiotic capsules or powder today!

Muscle of the Month: Pec Major & Minor

by Kristin Stromberg, ATC

When people want to start exercising more, one of the first muscles they want to work on is their chest. Most people have heard of large muscle pectoralis major but seem to forget about pectoralis minor. Both need to work together in order to function at their highest capacity.

The pectoralis major muscle is a large muscle in the upper chest, fanning across the chest from the shoulder to the breastbone. The two pectoralis major muscles, commonly referred to as the “pecs,” are the muscles that create the bulk of the chest. The pectorals are predominantly used to control the movement of the arm and also play a part in deep inhalation, pulling the ribcage to create room for the lungs to expand. Six separate sets of muscle fibers are identified within the pectoralis major muscle. This enables each portion of the pectoralis major muscle to be moved separately by the nervous system.

The pectoralis minor is a thin, flat muscle found immediately underneath the pectoralis major. This is the smaller of the two pectoral muscles, or muscles of the chest. This muscle extends from three origins on the third, fourth, and fifth ribs on each side of the ribcage to the coracoid process (a small, hook-like structure) of the scapula, or shoulder blade.

The following events listed below can aggravate the Pec Major:

  • Unusual postures like head leaned forward for a long time, shoulders deliberately pushed forward, sunken-chest posture
  • Sitting in front of computer or working at a stretch on a desk may cause distorted postures
  • Sudden jerks during weight lifting with the arms out in front of the body
  • Already fatigued muscles if further used for heavy jobs may lead to simple to severe pain in the muscles.
  • Intensive anxiety over a long period of time or recurring panic attacks

The following events listed below can aggravate the Pec Minor:

  • Trauma to the chest caused by a car accident, such as whiplash
  • Major or minor fracture or strain of the upper ribs.
  • Use of crutches for a long time
  • Hyperventilation or heavy breathing
  • Mental stress for a long time
  • Carrying heavy backpack or similar things over a period of time.
  • Keeping the head forward for a long time, and sunken-chest posture that are common in people who work on computers for longer periods
  • Previous or irregular cardiac pain from a heart attack or angina pectoris

Here are some common symptoms for Pec Major and Pec Minor:

  • Pectoralis major pain may occur in the form of chest pain, shoulder pain particularly frontal part, and pain in the inside of arm to the elbow. This pain may sometimes be confused as cardiac pain which can be confirmed by medical experts
  • Impaired lymphatic drainage may cause the breast to enlarge
  • Pain may spread into the ring finger and little finger of the hand for pec major
  • A pain in between the shoulder blade may occur simultaneously
  • Pain may be felt while stretching the hands on two sides
  • Severe pain may cause a feeling of constriction in the chest which much resembles to that of angina pectoris
  • Pain may be irregular which is felt while actively using the upper arms
  • Pain may be one-sided initially, but if not treated may spread to the other side of the chest
  • A feeling of pain coming from the inside part of the elbow that is often confused with the pain of “golfer’s elbow” or medial epicondylitis may be a symptom of pec minor
  • Pain that is originating in the inside of the arm and extending up to the middle, ring and little finger may be a symptom of pec minor as well as numbness in the hand and forearm
  • Difficulty in stretching the arm forward and up may be painful

*If you think you are having chest pain and is not sure if it is muscle related or if you are having a heart attack please go to emergency room and/or check in with your medical doctor

If your symptoms are related more to pec major or pec minor here are some things to do.

  • Rest would be very important since these muscle do so much work
  • Icing the area a few times a day for 15-20 minutes at each session
  • Some sort of anti-inflammatory to control the inflammation
  • Treatment at our office would be with Low Level Light Therapy, chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy for stretching and to start implementing an exercises routine. Massage therapy to try and relax the tight and aggravated muscles. As well as a posture program to make sure the correct muscles are working properly

Mention this blog to receive your New Patient exam for only $55!! Call today at 847-362-4476

Supplement of the Month: B12 (Methylcobalamin)

by Kristin Stromberg, ATC

Supplement of the Month: Vitamin B12

One of the typical questions we get asked is, “I went to my doctor and they said from my blood tests that my B12 is low. How do I fix this?” Vitamin B12 goes by many names and one we have in the office is called Methylcobalamin. By sitting down with Dr. Jordan or Dr. Jade they can discuss what the course of treatment can be to get you on track

How do we become deficient in B12?

Your body does not make vitamin B12, so you have to get it from animal-based foods or from supplements. You should do that on a regular basis, because your body doesn’t store vitamin B12 in the liver for a long time. With age, it can become harder to absorb this vitamin. There are a few ways of being deficient:

  1. Not enough intake of B12.  Vegans and vegetarians are at a greater risk due to eliminating certain foods from their diet.
  2. Impaired B12 absorption can be caused by a number of underlying issues, all requiring different treatments. Perhaps the most common problem is pernicious anemia, where your body can no longer produce and secrete an important protein called intrinsic factor (IF).Without IF, your ability to absorb B12 from dietary foods is greatly reduced.
  3. Achlorhydria is a lack of gastric acid in the stomach, which prevents B12 (and various other vitamins) from being absorbed from food effectively. It most often affects the elderly, putting them at greater risk. People suffering from achlorhydria cannot get sufficient B12 because it is bound to proteins in food, and without enough gastric acid, you can’t break it down. Fortunately this is easily treatable with supplements.

What type of food can I get B12 from?

You can get vitamin B12 in animal foods, which have it naturally, or from items that have been fortified with it. Foods high in Vitamin B12 include shellfish, liver, fish, crab, fortified soy products (tofu, soymilk), fortified cereals, red meat, low fat dairy, cheese, and eggs.

It is important to note that B12 is usually found in supplements in the form cyanocobalamin.  This form does not occur naturally in plants or animals.  This type of B12 can be dangerous as your body has to eliminate the cyanide molecule.  Methylcobalamin is not only the safer version of B12, but the most easily absorbed version.

Why do I need to worry if I don’t have enough B12?

A slight deficiency of vitamin B12 can lead to anemia, fatigue, shortness of breath, mania, impaired memory and depression. While a long term deficiency can cause permanent damage to the brain and central nervous system. Vitamin B12 is also important in DNA synthesis.

For the month of June we will be featuring our supplement B12 (Methylcobalamin).  If you have any questions or are concerned you might have a B12 deficiency please call our office at 847-362-4476 to have a FREE consult with either Dr. Jade or Dr. Jordan. Mention this blog to receive 10% of our *supplements.

*while supplies last

 

Muscle of the Month : IT Band

by Kristin Stromberg, ATC
Now that running season is upon us, it is that time again where our local runners are flocking in the door to get treatment on their legs. The infamous Iliotibial band (IT Band) is working overtime and it needs some help!!

What is iliotibial band (IT band) syndrome?

Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS or IT Band Syndrome) is an overuse injury of the connective tissues that are located on the lateral or outer part of thigh and knee. It causes pain and tenderness in those areas, especially just above the knee joint.  Iliotibial band syndrome is the most common cause of lateral knee pain in runners and bicyclists.

How Does This Muscle Work?

The iliotibial tract is classified as a deep fascia of the body, surrounding and connecting the muscles of the body to surrounding tissues. Like all other deep fascia, it is made almost exclusively of dense regular connective tissue. Dense regular connective tissue is a form of fibrous connective tissue that is extremely strong, tough, and avascular. It is made almost exclusively of collagen fibers and fibroblast cells, which produce collagen. Collagen is the strongest protein found in nature and is one of the strongest structures in the entire human body. The collagen fibers are arranged in a regular pattern of straight lines, giving the iliotibial tract incredible strength in the direction in which muscle force is applied to it and considerably less strength in other directions.

Functionally, the iliotibial tract extends the tensor fascia latae muscle into the lower thigh and leg, allowing it to function as an abductor, medial rotator and flexor of the thigh. It also allows the tensor fascia latae and gluteus maximus muscles to support the extension of the knee while standing, walking, running and biking.

What Can Cause IT Band Symptoms?

Iliotibial band inflammation is an overuse syndrome that occurs most often in long-distance runners, bicyclists, and other athletes who repeatedly squat. The iliotibial band syndrome may be the result of a combination of issues, including poor training habits, poor flexibility of muscle, and other mechanical imbalances in the body, especially involving the low back, pelvis, hips, and knees

What Can I do to treat the IT band??

Treatment can get started as soon as you notice any discomfort.

  1. Icing the area for up to 20 minutes a day a few times a day can help decrease the inflammation.
  2. Using either a Foam Roller, Tiger Tail, or lacrosse ball to work on getting those collagen fibers to relax.   You will want to focus on all muscles of the lower body as most times IT Band Syndrome is caused from issues which stem from the Glutes and hip flexors.  Using any one of these items may not be comfortable in the beginning of treatment and it will take some time to get used to. Over time, the discomfort will go away.
  1. It is important to have regular adjustments to make sure that the low back and hips are in alignment.  
  2. Manual therapy performed such as Graston or working with one of our massage therapists may break up tissue adhesions restricting the bodies ability to heal.
  3. Stretches and specific exercises can be added to your routine at home taught by one our licensed athletic trainers.

If you are not sure if you have IT band syndrome, just give us a call at 847-362-4476 and we can get you ready for the 2017 running season. If you mention this blog you also can get either the Foam roller or Tiger Tail for 15% off!!

Inflammation: A Silent Killer

by Dr. Jade Dellinger

Inflammation is a word that is used often, yet hard to define.  Most of us have a hard time separating inflammation from an ankle sprain vs. inflammation contributing to heart disease and arthritis.  In order to understand how to fight it, it’s important to understand how and why it occurs!

Inflammation is a very common and innate response to an injury, pain or stress.  It is part of our bodies natural defense system to prevent something worse and/or speed up healing time.

Acute inflammation is the first response to an injury or pathogen.  It’s acute because it should only last several days or less.

Examples of what can cause this:

  • Illness (virus, bacteria)
  • Trauma (punch, kick, sprain)
  • Burn
  • Frostbite
  • Allergic Reaction

There are a lot of players involved in the inflammatory process, but the basics are: heat, redness, swelling, and pain.  Thus leading to loss of function.  Acute inflammation is an important part of healing.  Follow your doctors advice for your particular situation and it should pass within a few days.

More importantly….. Chronic inflammation.  Our bodies go haywire when this seemingly harmless acute reaction becomes chronic and systemic.

There are a few things that cause inflammation to be turned “on” at all times.

  • Toxic Diet : High sugar, high fat, high-gluten & processed foods
  • Low Omega-3 Intake: Omega-3’s are necessary to the anti-inflammatory process (in addition high Omega-6 intake is as bad as low omega-3)
  • Lack of Sleep
  • Lack of Movement: Being sedentary is linked to a low-grade inflammatory state.
  • Chronic Stress

Those are just a few!  If any of those listed above are involved in your daily life, it’s time to make some changes.  Those are the pre-cursors to numerous lifestyle illnesses such as arthritis, diabetes, heart failure and more.  Fixing some of those listed can help manage already diagnosed conditions.  INCLUDING CHRONIC PAIN!

Remember we are always available for lifestyle advice and nutritional counseling.  If you are not feeling as happy, healthy or energetic as you want, Dr. Jordan Leasure, D.C. is offering Intro to Functional Medicine Assessments for $50.  Only 10 spots available for this great deal.  Mention code Inflammation to get started on your journey to wellness!  North Shore Pro-Active Health | 847-362-4476 | www.drleasure.com

Apple Cider Vinegar : The Miracle Product?

by Dr. Jade Dellinger

Although many people feel that Apple Cider Vinegar is something new on the health scene, it’s actually been around since 400 B.C.  Hippocrates, Father of Medicine, treated his patients with it!  Apple Cider Vinegar has been traced back to Egyptian urns and even Julius Caesar’s army used it to fight off disease.

Apple cider vinegar is made from fresh, crushed apples which are allowed to mature and ferment naturally in wooden barrels.  Natural ACV is brown in color, usually has a cobweb-like substance floating in it and never needs to be refrigerated.  It often has a very pungent odor and may even cause you pucker!  These are all good signs of a natural ACV!  That cobweb-like substance is called the “mother” and that is where all the benefits are found.

You may have noticed over the last few years it has become harder to find natural ACV.  Stores took some of them off their shelves because consumers buy based on looks and natural ACV is not all that appealing to the eye!  They began to sell pasteurized, refined versions that lack ALL the health benefits!

There are enough benefits of apple cider vinegar that I could write for days.  I’ve broken down a list of the top 10 to get you started!  Remember that many of the health benefits cannot be found in distilled vinegar – it needs to be all natural Apple Cider Vinegar with the cobweb of goodness floating in it!

Top 10 Uses of Apple Cider Vinegar:

  1. Remove Teeth Stains: Rub your teeth with it an rinse!
  2. Detox Your Home: All natural cleanser.  No need for harsh chemicals!
  3. Shiny Hair: Rinse after shampoo.  It will boost your hairs shine and body.  Mix 1/2 tablespoon with a cup of water and use a few times a week.
  4. Aid in Weight Loss: Drink 2tsp mixed with 16oz of water.  Sip throughout the day.
  5. Balance your pH: Keeps your body more alkaline to decrease infections.
  6. Lymphatic Improvement: Helps break up mucous and cleanse lymph nodes.  This may help with allergies as well!  Take daily to ward off sore throats and colds.
  7. Reduce Heartburn: Take a tsp of ACV followed by a glass of water.  You should feel relief shortly.
  8. Room Freshener: Pour directly into toilet and allow to sit overnight.  It can also be used for kitchen surfaces, windows, glass and more!  Mix 1/2c ACV with 1c water!
  9. Improve Skin: From psoriasis and eczema to dry skin and blemishes.  It will help reduce inflammation and reduce symptoms.  Just dab with a cotton ball.
  10. Decrease Glucose Levels: Studies show people with type-2 diabetes found that two tablespoons of ACV before bed lowered glucose in the morning by 4-6%!

The one thing to remember is that ACV is acidic.  You want to take small amounts if you are using on a daily basis.  Taking small amounts should offer no risks whatsoever.  It is beneficial to talk to your MD or DC prior to starting a new supplement regimen.  If you have questions about apple cider vineger set up an appointment to see how it might be beneficial for you!

The Trapezius : Muscle of the Month

by Kristin Stromberg, ATC

The trapezius is one of the major muscles of the back and is responsible for moving, rotating, and stabilizing the scapula (shoulder blade) and extending the head at the neck. It is a wide, flat, superficial muscle that covers most of the upper back and the posterior of the neck. Like most other muscles, there are two trapezius muscles – a left and a right trapezius – that are symmetrical and meet at the vertebral column

The trapezius starts at the occipital bone and the spinous processes of the cervical and thoracic vertebrae. Then extends across the neck and back to insert via tendons on the clavicle, acromion, and spine of the scapula. The name trapezius is given to this muscle due to its roughly trapezoidal shape. The trapezius can be divided into three bands of muscle fibers that have distinct structures and functions within the muscle:

Upper Trapezius, Middle Trapezius and Lower Trapezius

 Upper Trapezius

This portion helps with elevating (shrugging) the scapula or by bracing the shoulder when weight is carried; ie purses, grocery bags, backpacks, laptop bags. The action of this muscle also helps to extend the neck. Symptoms of having issues with the upper trapezius muscle are; headaches, facial/temple/jaw pain, pain behind the eye, dizziness, stiffness and limited range of motion

Middle Trapezius

These muscle fibers help to retract and adduct the scapula by pulling the shoulder blade closer to the spine. Symptoms can be mid back pain, headaches at the base of the sku
ll, a “burning” sensation that is close to the spine, and pain referring to the shoulder

Lower Trapezius

The inferior fibers depress the scapula by pulling it closer to the lower part of the thoracic vertebrae. To rotate the scapula, the lower and upper fibers work together to  rotate the shoulder blade upward. All three sections help to stabilize the shoulder blade to prevent irrelevant movement. Symptoms can be mid-back, neck, and/or upper shoulder region pain, possibly referral pain on the back of the shoulder blade, down the inside of the arm, and into the ring and little fingers, a deep ache and tenderness over the top of the shoulder

 

Causes of Trapezius Symptoms

  • a purse or daypack that is too heavy and on just one shoulder
  • fatigue
  • tensing your shoulders
  • cradling a phone between your ear and shoulder
  • a chair without armrests, or the armrests are too high
  • typing with a keyboard too high
  • sleeping on your front or back with your head rotated to the side for a long period
  • sitting without a firm back support (sitting slumped)
  • Backpacking, bike riding
  • any profession or activity that requires you to bend over for extended periods
  • large breasts and not wearing a supportive bra
  • whiplash (a car accident, falling on your head, or any sudden jerk of the head)
  • head-forward posture
  • turning your head to one side for long periods to have a conversation
  • tight pectoralis major muscles

 

Treatment

Treatment to help reduce the pain in any of these three sections of the trapezius is thru physical therapy to increase range of motion and to help strengthen the neck. Also thru chiropractic care to make sure there are no subluxations and that the body is in proper alignment. Massage therapy will help relax the muscles from spasming and also using Low Level Light Therapy (Cold Laser) to reduce any inflammation that is being caused in the body.

If you are not sure if you are experiencing any of these symptoms mentioned above and is not sure what to do we are offering a free consultation with one of our doctors to see if we can help. Please call the office at 847-362-4476 so we can help you to start feeling better today!