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How to Prevent Gardening Injuries

With April showers bringing May flowers, you’re in for a lot of gardening this season. You may even find yourself venturing into the yard in honor of Earth Day.

Before starting, remember that gardening is a significant undertaking and can even count as a workout, depending on that day’s chores. So, it’s important to treat this springtime activity like any other physical pastime and maintain your body with the best chiropractic care in Bend.

Potential Gardening Injuries

After staying inside this winter, your body may not be used to the exertion needed to care for the yard. And unused muscles can easily tire out, leading to aches, pains, and muscle strains. Common gardening injuries include:

Many of these conditions result from overuse, repetitive motion, or improper form and can be easily avoided.

Safety Tips for Gardening This Spring

You can prevent many gardening injuries with these easy steps before, during, and after your project:

  • Always warm up — Whether you take a brisk 10-minute walk or do some jumping jacks, warming up is extremely important for loosening up joints and muscles.
  • Stretch it out — Be sure to do easy, low-impact stretches after your warm-up and once you’ve completed your tasks for the day. Focus on your wrists, shoulders, arms, thighs, sides, and back.
  • Lift with your knees, not your back — When lifting objects, always bend your knees, keep your back straight, and your core engaged. If you need to turn, always use your feet to pivot towards the direction — don’t twist.
  • Stay hydrated — It doesn’t matter if it’s sunny, cloudy, or breezy. Your body will lose a lot of fluid while you’re working. Not to mention, water keeps your muscles, joints, and spinal discs lubricated.
  • Take frequent breaks — Don’t try to tackle the whole yard in one day! Taking breaks and completing select tasks each day can prevent overuse of muscles and repetitive stress injuries. Likewise, switching your positioning every 20 minutes can reduce the potential for strain.

Treat Your Gardening Injuries with the Best Chiropractic Care in Bend

You should expect some soreness after a hard day’s work. If the pain persists, it may be time to see a professional. Chiropractic care and massage therapy in Bend can reduce pain related to gardening. Chiropractic adjustments will address spinal misalignments that occur after hours bent over in the planting and weeding.

Your massage therapist in Bend uses techniques that release muscle tension to prevent spasms and decreases inflammation. If you’ve sustained an injury, massage therapy also increases blood flow to the affected area to encourage quick healing.

If you have pain or soreness from gardening, schedule a visit to our clinic to prepare your body for the rest of the season.

4 Common Spring Sports Injuries and How to Prevent Them

As the weather warms up, many of us are excited to participate in our favorite sports and activities. From softball, tennis, and golf leagues to leisurely runs, hikes, and bike rides, spring opens new doors for entertainment — and sore bodies. Chiropractic care and massage therapy in Bend are great options for keeping your body warmed up and maintained throughout the season.

Continue reading to learn how these services can prevent spring sports injuries and keep you off the sidelines.

Common Spring Sports Injuries

1. Sprains and Strains

Sprains and strains are the most common spring sports injuries in any activity. They occur when ligaments (sprains) or muscles and tendons (strains) become stretched or torn. Depending on the severity of your injury, symptoms typically include mild to severe swelling, bruising, and loss of mobility and stability.

2. Herniated Discs

Your spine is made up of vertebrae with small cushions to separate each bone, called discs. When a tear in the disc allows the jelly-like material to leak out, it leads to a bulging or herniated disc. A herniation is usually marked by local or radiating pain and a decreased range of motion. This condition is common in older golfers and athletes in contact sports, like football.

3. Tendonitis

Tendons are connective tissues that attach muscles to bones. Overusing certain tendons can lead to inflammation and pain, known as tendonitis. While tendonitis can occur in several places around the body, common forms of this condition include tennis elbow, baseball elbow, shin splints, and Achilles’ tendonitis.

4. Stress Fractures

Stress fractures are small breaks in weight-bearing bones from repetitive impacts, like running or jumping. This condition is extremely common when starting a new workout regimen or suddenly increasing intensity. Fractures can also occur with repetitive motions in pitching or rowing, but that is uncommon. Stress fractures can cause pain and tenderness but should resolve with rest.

Tips for Preventing Sports Injuries

Adequately preparing your body after a long winter indoors is essential for preventing injury. Here are some things you can do during the season for your safety:

  • Warm up for at least 5-10 minutes with stretching and cardio
  • Maintain proper equipment, especially supportive shoes
  • Start strength training and conditioning weeks before the season begins
  • Rest between games, matches, training, etc. to prevent overuse

How Chiropractic Care and Massage Therapy in Bend Can Treat Sports Injuries

Chiropractic care and massage therapy are two clear choices for athletes wanting to improve their abilities and reduce discomfort. For most sports injuries, misalignments in the spine lead to incorrect form, which often triggers further damage. So, regular adjustments allow you to play each game at your best.

Studies have even shown that these therapies can improve balance, agility, and response time because the body will move as it should. Not to mention, the massage therapist in Bend will relieve stiff muscles and release tension to increase flexibility and range of motion, allowing you to twist, bend and reach to your full potential.

If you happen to sustain a sports injury despite your best effort, the best chiropractic care in Bend can encourage quick and complete healing. Massage therapy promotes blood flow to the affected area, which is necessary for recovery, while chiropractic care returns your body to its proper position. Many patients even report pain relief as early as the first visit.

Before your season starts, make a trip to Total Body Chiropractic & Massage to get your body prepared for spring sports. We offer a list of comprehensive services that will help you feel your best and keep you off the bench this year.

5 Ways to Improve Your Posture

5 Ways to Improve Your Posture

Your spine connects your brain to the rest of your body and transmits important signals that help you feel your best. So, maintaining proper alignment keeps you healthy and functioning, starting with your posture. And while you’ve probably heard about the importance of posture for comfort and confidence, you likely haven’t received many pointers on improving it.

Here are 5 tips for keeping your spine aligned:

1. Exercise Regularly

Maintaining good posture is made easier when the muscles that support the spine and neck are strong. You should focus on strengthening your back and core which will help you stay upright and stop slouching. Incorporating exercises ranging from weight training to stretching can help the upper and lower back to reinforce your posture.

2. Become More Self Aware

Improving your posture takes a conscious effort, meaning you need to check in with your alignment whenever you sit or stand. When you stand, keep your head straight, tuck your chin, roll your shoulders in line with your ears, don’t poke out your butt, and engage your core. When sitting, be sure to sit up straight and give yourself extra support with an ergonomic chair.

3. Cut Back on Cell Usage

One major culprit of postural issues is the growing use of technology. Text neck is a common condition resulting from constantly looking down at your phone. This unnatural position shifts your alignment, causing pain and tingling in the neck, shoulders, back, and even the arms and hands.

Daily neck stretches and holding your phone at eye level can help alleviate some of the tension and prevent major damage. You can also cut back on your cell usage to reduce the frequency and severity of text neck. 

4. Sleep Well

Have you ever woken up with a sore back or shoulders? That’s because your sleeping arrangements can significantly impact your posture. A firm mattress supports your spine’s natural shape, while your sleeping position maintains alignment.

If you sleep on your side, slightly bend your knees and place a pillow under your neck to keep your head level with your spine. As a back sleeper, be sure to use a thin pillow to avoid placing additional strain on your neck. Sleeping on your stomach pulls your spine in the wrong direction and should be avoided.

5. Chiropractic Care

When it comes to seeing immediate improvements in your posture, chiropractic treatment is your best bet. Your chiropractor specializes in the musculoskeletal system and can address and correct misalignments to help you stand taller and feel more balanced as early as your first visit. Poor posture can lead to pinched nerves, muscle spasms and other discomforts that negatively impact your body’s ability to function. So, chiropractic to improve posture not only realigns your vertebrae but also relieves pressure in tense areas.

Having good posture is more than just a way of exuding confidence; it is also essential to feeling healthy and well. Using chiropractic to improve posture also offers other health benefits like an immune boost, increased mobility and enhanced comfort. At Total Body Chiropractic & Massage, we will work with you to rehabilitate your posture through spinal adjustments and give you lifestyle tips to maintain it over time.

Five Hip Stretches for Better Mobility

Five Hip Stretches for Better Mobility

Tight hips seem to be a common complaint whether you are an athlete, a teacher, or if you sit at a desk all day, they seem to be a consistent trouble spot for just about everyone. There are several stretches that can help with increased flexibility and relief from soreness and pain. Choosing the right stretches will depend on your flexibility, injury history, range of motion and comfort level. Knowing your limits will help ensure you avoid any injuries from stretching, so before you try these stretches, make sure you know when to stop if something isn’t feeling right. Keep in mind you don’t want to over-stretch, so start small and increase your stretches as you feel comfortable.

Piriformis Stretch

  1. Find a stable surface that you can prop your leg up on.
  2. Your opposite leg will have your foot flat on the ground and straightforward.
  3. Lean forward until you feel a stretch in your buttocks.
  4. Relax from the stretch by standing up nice and tall, taking deep breaths helps.
  5. Repeat until you get a good stretch, be slow and deliberate with stretching.
  6. This stretch can be modified in many ways. Adjust your body according to your flexibility level and make sure you don’t push your limits.

Butterfly Adductor Stretch

  1. Sit comfortably on the ground, making sure it’s even ground.
  2. Bring both feet together towards your groin, leaving your knees up to get into position.
  3. Actively push your knees towards the ground, go slow, do not push fast.
  4. Stretch is felt on the inside of your thighs and sometimes you can feel it on the outside of your thighs.
  5. Don’t be afraid to talk to your Chiropractor if you want additional input for proper positioning for knee injury prevention.

IT band and Abductor Stretch

  1. Find a strong and stable object that you can lean on – a wall or doorway works well.
  2. Cross your left leg over your right leg. You always want your feet to stay flat.
  3. Use your right arm and reach directly over your head.
  4. As you reach overhead, shift your waist out to the right side.
  5. You should feel the stretch on the outside of your hip, it is obvious once you feel it.
  6. Repeat on the other side.

Walking Hamstring Stretch

  1. To begin, start with one foot in front of the other, several inches apart.
  2. Your forward foot will maintain your heel on the ground with your toes pointed up to the sky.
  3. With both hands, reach down to touch your toes. Your opposite knee will bend as needed. Try to stay square with your body, don’t shift your torso.
  4. You should feel the back of your leg stretching.
  5. Alternate your legs by taking a step backward and switching your reach towards the opposite leg.

Hip Flexor and Adductor Stretch

  1. Kneel one leg on a soft surface and bend your other knee in front of you.
  2. Use a dowel-like stick or rod for better stability.
  3. Drive your knee forward until you feel a stretch in the front of your opposite hip and groin area.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 while changing your foot placement.

 

 

Runners Feet - Runners Shoes - Foot Pain - Muscle Pain

How to Stretch Properly with Dynamic Stretching

As the weather gets warmer, sometimes our attention to stretching diminishes simply because our muscles already feel “warmed up.” But this can be dangerous for anyone whether you are a competitive athlete or just out for a non-strenuous afternoon hike. The research has changed throughout the years and what was once yielded as the best way to warm-up has drastically changed as we’ve discovered more about the mechanics of our bodies. The school of thought for a long time was to stretch before your workout, basically forcing your cold muscles to warm up without any notice. This is no longer recommended as it can cause injuries and diminish your overall performance.  Instead, giving your body a mild aerobic intro gets blood flow to the tissue, so the muscles are warmed up and ready for the demands of stretching. A five-minute slow jog or a brisk walk is recommended, which will increase the blood flow and get the muscle fibers nice and warm. Technique is important when stretching and dynamic stretches are considered more effective than remaining still and holding a stretch for a period. Dynamic stretching is stretching where motion is involved. Consider trying some of the following dynamic stretches after your five-minute aerobic warm-up and keep in mind if you are recovering from an injury, it’s best to speak with your doctor or physical therapist before trying anything new.

Lean Lunges

Lean lunges help to loosen up your hips and psoas muscles while simultaneously activating the calves, gluteus muscles and hamstrings. You lean into a basic lunge while moving forward while raising the arm of the leg you have stretched out in the lunge. This should be done with slow, controlled movement to avoid injury.

Arm Circles

This stretch is essential because your shoulder joint has the most range of motion of any joint in the human body, and not warming it up properly could result in injuries. Doing this stretch without added weight is effective or you can add a little weight by holding hand weights, dumbbells or weight plates to increase the demand on the muscles. Circling each arm in forward circles for several reps and then doing backward circles for the same amount of reps, gives your muscles a chance to warm-up throughout the entire joint.

Front to Back Leg Swing

The leg swing is relatively easy to do and focuses stretching on the hamstrings and quads. Support yourself with one arm while swinging your opposite leg forward then backward. The idea is to keep your leg straight as it moves forward and stretches the hamstring, then as it comes back and bends, try kicking yourself in the butt, which will stretch your quads. The muscles will start to warm up with each swing, so you can try to extend the stretch a bit further as you increase in reps, keeping in mind you don’t want to overstretch and cause an injury.

 The Power Skip

Most of us learned to skip at an early age and some of us probably haven’t done it since grade school, but this stretch exercise is one of the best full-body stretches you can do. To get the most out of your power skip, you want to skip across a flat field or park, preferably on grass so it’s a softer landing, and you want to focus on reaching for height rather than distance with each skip. Reach the opposite arm high into the air as your opposite leg comes up towards your chest, bringing your quad to a 90-degree angle. Use your other leg to push off the ground and shoot up into the air, reaching as high as you can go with your arm. Alternate legs and do 20 skips on each side.

Giving your body the proper warm-up helps increase your overall performance and shields you from potential injuries that might occur because of a cold muscle snapping or tearing. Dynamic stretching is a fantastic way to get your body in the mood for any physical activity by focusing blood flow to the tissues that will be called upon during your exercise. It’s important to know your body and not push yourself beyond your limits when exercising. Please consult with a physician or physical therapist before trying something new if you’ve had a recent injury, some stretching exercises might not be beneficial for your injury recovery and could potentially cause more damage if done incorrectly.