Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options for Plantar Fasciitis

Our feet undergo a lot of stress, which can lead to significant foot and heel pain. As a board-certified chiropractor specializing in sports medicine, I see many patients with foot and heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis. The condition involves inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is the long, thick band of tissue that runs along the sole of the foot, connecting the heel to the front of the foot.

Below, I discuss several causes, symptoms and treatment options, including chiropractic care, to help you better understand the condition and how to relieve the pain associated with it.

Causes of Plantar Fasciitis

The plantar fascia tissue supports the arch of the foot and acts as a shock absorber when we move our feet. With every step, that tissue is subjected to significant tension as the heel hits the ground, and tiny tears can occur. This can cause inflammation and irritation in the plantar fascia, accompanied by stabbing pain and stiffness on the bottom of the heel.

It’s often unclear exactly how plantar fasciitis occured, but it can be caused by a number of factors, including inadequate footwear or an overuse injury. Other factors that can increase the risk for plantar fasciitis are:

  • Age – As we get older, our risk of experiencing plantar fasciitis increases. It most commonly affects people over age 40.
  • Foot structure – Flat feet or high arches can mean a higher risk for plantar fasciitis. An unusual gait or walking pattern can cause an uneven weight distribution that is harder on the feet. Tight Achilles tendons, which attach your calf muscles to your heels, also may cause foot pain and stress for your plantar fascia.
  • Weight – Excess body weight makes it harder for your feet to support you. Pregnant women or people who experience sudden weight gain may develop plantar fasciitis.
  • High-impact activities – Activities that involve your heels can add a lot of strain to the area. Sports-related activities that involve repetitive impact are common contributors to heel and foot pain. Likewise, a sudden increase in activity, such as starting a new walking or running program, can increase your risk of plantar fasciitis.
  • Time on your feet – Jobs that require several hours of walking or standing on hard surfaces can damage the plantar fascia.

Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis

The primary symptom is pain on the bottom of the heel that develops over time. Some people experience pain on the bottom and at the middle of the foot. It’s usually most noticeable with the first steps of the day and may return after extended periods of standing, or when standing up after sitting or lying down.

Plantar fasciitis usually affects just one foot, but it can occur in both feet. The pain can be alternately sharp or a dull ache extending outward from the heel. You may also feel a higher level of discomfort when walking barefoot or in shoes with minimal support, like flip-flops.

Plantar fasciitis can often be confused with a heel spur. A heel spur is a calcium deposit that builds up and protrudes from the underside of the heel bone. Although the risk factors for a heel spur are similar to those of plantar fasciitis, heel spurs often do not cause pain or present symptoms unless they cause an injury to the soft tissue.

Tips for Relieving Pain

The following tips may help you relieve heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis:

  • Rest – It’s important to keep weight off your affected foot as much as possible when you’re experiencing plantar fasciitis. This means you may need to decrease athletic activities that involve jumping or pounding on hard surfaces.
  • Proper footwear – Supportive shoes with thick soles or cushioning can help relieve pain and reduce the stress on your plantar fascia. Silicone heel pads also provide cushioning. You should also consider replacing your athletic shoes often, and avoid high-heels or non-supportive footwear.
  • Avoid going barefoot – Without any support, especially on hard surfaces, this can be a serious stressor to the tissue in the bottom of the foot.
  • Stretching – Tight muscles in your feet and calves can aggravate the pain of plantar fasciitis. We can provide several stretching and at-home exercises that you can do to help loosen the muscles in your achilles tendon and plantar fascia, as well as to help strengthen your lower leg muscles and stabilize your ankles.
  • Ice or cold therapy – Pain and inflammation often respond well to cold therapy. Consider applying an ice pack or rolling your foot over a cold water bottle for 15-20 minutes several times a day. You can also fill a plastic water bottle about three-quarters full, freeze it for several hours, and then roll your foot over the bottle for relief.

Chiropractic Care for Plantar Fasciitis

We offer several treatment options for plantar fasciitis, including:

  • Chiropractic adjustments – As a board-certified chiropractor, I can perform adjustments to your feet, ankles, knees, hips and spine to alleviate pressure, allowing you to relax and heal. Realigning the body in this way also helps reduce the risk of further injury and discomfort.
  • Corrective exercise – Rehabilitation is an important part of the recovery process following any injury, and it’s a key part of my treatment. When necessary, I can provide specific recommendations to help you regain strength and improve flexibility in the foot, heel and ankle.
  • Laser therapy – I’m proud to offer the industry’s leading and most effective Class IV Laser for patients who need it. During treatment, I gently guide the laser over the affected area. The red and near infrared light from the laser helps alleviate pain, reduce inflammation and speed up recovery.
  • Soft tissue therapy – Graston Technique® is a type of soft tissue mobilization used at our clinic. During the treatment, I use a stainless steel instrument called a Graston tool to break up scar tissue and fascial restrictions in the foot, heel and ankle. This helps alleviate pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Trigger point dry needlingDry needling is a great treatment option for muscular pain, tension and myofascial dysfunction. The treatment involves gently inserting a thin, dry needle (one without medication) into the trigger point and gently manipulating it until we get a “twitch” response, indicating that the muscle has released.

If you’re suffering from heel or foot pain, don’t ignore it. Use our online scheduling tool to book an appointment, or contact us for more information and an expert recommendation.

Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Weightlifters and Crossfitters

Chiropractic care offers several benefits for people of all ages and walks of life, but athletes and weightlifters are among the groups that can benefit the most. If you’re a weightlifter or Crossfitter, read on to learn how it can help you.

Improves posture and performance

Weightlifting puts a lot of stress on the joints as well as the upper and lower back. This stress can increase the risk of misalignment and impact your performance. If your spine or other joints are misaligned, your body will distribute weight unevenly. When you’re lifting, this can cause one side of the body to bear more of the weight than the other side, which can lead to uneven gains.

Chiropractic adjustments help restore natural balance by ensuring the body is properly aligned. Adjustments also help restore proper function to the nervous system, which in turn helps regulate muscle function and promote recovery.

Prevents injuries

Weightlifters and Crossfitters expose themselves to a variety of injuries, including sprains, strains and pinched nerves that can affect the upper and lower back as well as the shoulders, hips and knees. With regular chiropractic adjustments, you can ensure your body has the proper mechanical balance, which in turn helps increase range of motion and optimize performance.

As a board-certified chiropractor and former personal trainer and collegiate athlete, Nate Wiechmann, D.C., understands the physical demands that are required to live an active lifestyle. He can recommend specific exercises that you can use to increase range of motion, build strength and prevent future injuries. (We also have a squat rack in our clinic to assist power lifters and athletes with proper form for injury prevention.)

Treats injuries

When injuries do occur, chiropractic care can help speed up the recovery process. In addition to chiropractic adjustments, some of the other treatment options we provide for weightlifters and Crossfitters include:

  • Cupping therapyCupping involves applying glass or silicone cups to the skin to create pressure. (We use silicone cups at our clinics.) The suction promotes blood flow to the affected areas, which in turn helps stimulate the natural healing process to relieve tension and inflammation in the muscles.
  • Graston Technique® – This type of soft tissue mobilization utilizes specially designed stainless steel instruments/tools to break down scar tissue and fascial restrictions in the body. As the instruments are moved over the affected area and come in contact with the adhesions, they break up scar tissue and fascial restrictions, which in turn helps relieve pain and restore movement.
  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy – Our newest treatment option, hyperbaric oxygen therapy or HBOT, involves lying inside a pressurized chamber that releases 95-100% pure oxygen that’s increased two to three times the normal levels provided in our everyday environment. When your blood carries this extra oxygen throughout your body, it helps fight bacteria and stimulate the release of substances called growth factors and stem cells, which promote healing. (Typically a session goes for $80-100, but we’re offering 50% off your first session through the rest of the summer.)
  • Taping – Functional Movement Taping (FMT) helps provide support and stability for weak or injured muscles. It can be used on its own or in conjunction with other treatments. It’s important to have a certified practitioner, like a chiropractor, apply the tape to ensure it’s properly placed for optimal benefit.
  • TheraGun – TheraGun provides deep muscle massage that helps break up tension and increase range of motion. Oftentimes, this can be added on to other services for a minimal or complimentary fee.
  • Trigger point dry needling – This type of treatment involves inserting a dry needle (one without medicine) into a “knot” or trigger point in order to relieve pain and tension in the muscles.

In addition, we provide functional movement screens and sports physicals to help athletes address faulty movement patterns and reduce the risk of injury.

Of course, athletes aren’t the only ones who can benefit from regular chiropractic care. As a board-certified chiropractor, Dr. Wiechmann treats people of all ages and fitness levels, including elite athletes, weekend warriors, pregnant mothers and children. Call 712-249-8231 for more information, or use our online scheduling tool to book an appointment.

FAQs About Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

We’re thrilled to announce that we’re now offering hyperbaric oxygen therapy at our Council Bluffs clinic. Read on to learn how it works and what you can expect during and after treatment.

What is hyperbaric oxygen therapy?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves lying inside a pressurized chamber that releases 95-100% pure oxygen. Often, pressure in the chamber is between 1.5 and 3 times greater than normal air pressure. When your blood carries this extra oxygen throughout your body, it helps fight bacteria and stimulate the release of growth factors and stem cells, which promotes healing. With repeated treatments, the extra oxygen can help increase your normal oxygen levels, even after the session ends. This means you can continue reaping benefits of the treatment long after you leave.

What are the benefits of hyperbaric medicine?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (or hyperbaric medicine) has become a popular recovery tool for athletes and non-athletes alike. The non-invasive treatment option can be beneficial for anyone looking to obtain better overall health and wellness. In particular, it can help provide relief for the following conditions:

  • Anemia
  • Brain abscesses
  • Bubbles of air in blood vessels (arterial gas embolism)
  • Burns
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Crushing injuries
  • Deafness
  • Decompression sickness
  • Gangrene
  • Infections
  • Nonhealing wounds, such as diabetic foot ulcers
  • Radiation injuries and skin grafts
  • Sports injuries, including medial collateral ligament (MCL) and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries and concussions
  • Vision loss

Other benefits include:

  • Increasing collagen production
  • Reducing pain and inflammation
  • Speeding up recovery time after an infection, sprain, strain, concussion or head injury
  • Decreasing the risk of re-injury

Is hyperbaric oxygen therapy safe?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a safe, non-invasive treatment option. A typical session at our clinic lasts about an hour, and the pressure is constantly monitored to ensure your safety and comfort. However, hyperbaric medicine is not right for everyone. You shouldn’t receive hyperbaric oxygen therapy if you:

  • Have certain types of lung diseases or a collapsed lung
  • Are experiencing a cold or a fever, or have tested positive for COVID-19 within 24 hours
  • Recently had ear surgery or have a history of ear problems
  • Do not like small enclosed spaces (claustrophobia)

In some cases, patients may experience the following side effects, which resolve within a few hours:

  • Fatigue or lightheadedness
  • Sinus pressure
  • Fluid buildup or ear discomfort

Can hyperbaric medicine be used in conjunction with other treatments?

Yes. Like many of the services provided at our clinics, hyperbaric medicine works well in conjunction with other treatments, including chiropractic adjustments, trigger point dry needling, soft tissue therapy and laser therapy.

Is hyperbaric medicine covered by insurance?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is an out-of-pocket expense. For your convenience, we offer competitive cash pricing options (see below).

How much does hyperbaric oxygen therapy cost?

  • $100 for a one-hour session
  • $450 for five one-hour sessions ($500 value)
  • $850 for 10 one-hour sessions ($1,000 value)
  • $1,200 for 15 one-hour sessions ($1,500 value)
  • $1,500 for 20 one-hour sessions ($2,000 value)

Through the end of September, we’re offering a special introductory rate (50% off your first session) for anyone who wants to try a hyperbaric treatment. To book an appointment, use our online scheduling tool, or contact us for details.

Pinpointing Pain with Trigger Point Dry Needling

Have you ever experienced hard “knots” in your muscle? Those knots are known as “trigger points,” and they can cause significant pain over large areas, making it difficult to perform daily tasks. A common treatment option for relieving myofascial trigger point pain is dry needling.

What is the difference between trigger point dry needling and acupuncture?

Both trigger point dry needling and acupuncture use dry needles (ones that don’t involve medication) to gently prick specific spots in the body, but the treatments vary greatly. Acupuncture is primarily used to treat internal issues, such as digestive problems, stress and allergies, by removing blocked or interrupted “chi.” Dry needling is used to treat muscular pain, tension and myofascial dysfunction. Research published in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy shows this helps release tight muscle bands associated with trigger points, leading to decreased pain and improved function.

What are the benefits of dry needling?

Benefits include:

  • Reducing pain and stiffness
  • Improving flexibility
  • Speeding up the recovery time
  • Improving range of motion
  • Easing joint pain
  • Decreasing neurological pain

What conditions can dry needling help treat?

Dry needling can provide relief for several medical conditions, including:

  • Back pain or neck pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Pelvic pain
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Shin splints
  • Shoulder impingements
  • Spinal issues
  • Sports injuries
  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction
  • Tendonitis
  • Tennis elbow
  • Trigger points
  • Whiplash and auto accident injuries

Is dry needling safe?

Trigger point dry needling is a safe and effective way to relieve muscle pain and tension in patients of all ages, including pregnant women and children. I use individually packaged, sterile single use and disposable needles. They are extremely fine (.16 to .30mm) and rarely cause bruising or bleeding. Some patients experience a slight tickle, while others say they feel a short period of pain. It can be normal to experience muscle soreness as the trigger point continues to work itself out, but that should clear up after one to two days.

What can you expect during a session?

After I identify the trigger point causing your pain or dysfunction, I gently insert a dry needle and manipulate it at the site until there’s a twitch response, indicating the muscle knot has released. The needle may be placed deeply or shallowly, for a short or long period of time, depending on your condition. Depending on the severity of your muscle tightness, you may need two to four sessions spaced one to two weeks apart to get lasting relief.

Can dry needling be used in conjunction with other treatments?

Like many of the services provided at our clinics, trigger point dry needling works well in conjunction with other treatments, including chiropractic adjustments, cupping, soft tissue therapy, laser therapy and rehabilitative taping.

Please use our online scheduling tool to book an appointment, or call 712-249-8231 for more information.

What to Expect Before and After Cupping Therapy

The 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo are right around the corner, and we thought it would be the perfect time to discuss cupping therapy, a treatment option made popular by Michael Phelps during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. While the treatment may be trendy now, it’s actually not new. In fact, cupping dates back to ancient Egyptian, Chinese and Middle Eastern cultures. One of the oldest medical textbooks in the world, the Ebers Papyrus, describes how the ancient Egyptians used cupping therapy in 1,550 B.C.

How does cupping therapy work?

Cupping is an ancient Chinese therapy that’s based on the belief that certain health problems can be caused by stagnant blood and a poor energy flow through your body. The treatment involves applying glass or silicone cups to the skin to create pressure. (We use silicone cups at our clinics.) The suction promotes blood flow to the affected areas, which in turn helps stimulate the natural healing process to relieve tension and inflammation in the muscles.

What conditions can cupping therapy help treat?

The British Cupping Society says that cupping therapy is used to treat:

  • Back pain and neck pain
  • Knee pain
  • Rheumatic diseases such as arthritis and fibromyalgia
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Bronchial congestion caused by allergies and asthma
  • Varicose veins

Is cupping therapy safe?

As long as it’s performed by a trained healthcare professional, cupping is a safe and effective treatment option for patients of all ages. It is not recommended for anyone with a history of bleeding disorders, blood clotting conditions or seizures.

Benefits include:

  • Relieving muscle pain and tightness – Cupping is a safe treatment option that helps resolve chronic muscle tightness and pain by promoting blood flow to the affected area(s).
  • Increasing circulation – The suction from the cups increases circulation to the area where the cups are placed. The additional blood flow to that area helps relieve muscle tension and promote cell repair.
  • Promoting detox – Targeted blood flow helps your body by flushing built-up toxins through the lymphatic system, which is responsible for eliminating your body’s toxins and waste.
  • Reducing anxiety – Your parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for slowing your heart rate, assisting in digestion and increasing intestinal activity. Cupping helps promote deep relaxation by engaging the parasympathetic nervous system.

What should you expect after treatment?

Depending on your condition, you may experience mild discomfort after treatment. The suction force from cupping breaks open tiny blood vessels under the skin, which can leave round bruise-like marks that fade within a week or two.

To book an appointment, please use our online scheduling tool. For more information, call 712-249-8231.

Can Chiropractic Care Help Relieve Ear Infections?

Research shows that nearly 80 percent of children experience at least one ear infection by the age of three. Below, we discuss the common causes and symptoms of ear infections, as well as how chiropractic care can help.

What causes ear infections in children?

Ear infections are primarily bacterial infections. They happen when a child’s Eustachian tubes swell and become blocked. This swelling and blockage causes fluid to accumulate in the middle ear behind the eardrum. Typically, this occurs when a child has an upper respiratory infection. Swelling and blockage in the Eustachian tubes can also be attributed to excess mucus, allergies, changes in air pressure, swollen adenoids and secondhand smoke. Moving to an area with a significantly different climate, traveling from a high to a low altitude, or using a pacifier can also increase the likelihood of developing an ear infection.

It’s also worth noting that there are two different types of ear infections: chronic ear infections and acute ear infections. Acute ear infections don’t last very long and typically clear up without treatment. Chronic ear infections, on the other hand, usually require some sort of treatment to prevent them from reoccurring. If your child is experiencing chronic ear infections, it’s important to seek treatment right away in order to prevent permanent damage to the inner ear.

What are the symptoms of an ear infection?

Common symptoms include:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Fussiness or frequent crying
  • Tugging or pulling at the affected ear(s)
  • Inability to detect low-decibel sounds
  • Pus-like fluid drains from the ear(s)
  • Fever, particularly in newborns and younger children
  • Pain (even mild) in the ear
  • A persistent feeling of excess pressure inside the ear
  • General lack of body balance
  • Changes in mood/mood swings

How can chiropractic care help?

Chiropractic care is a safe and effective way to relieve pain or discomfort caused by ear infections. At our clinic, we use a gentle, non-invasive treatment known as a chiropractic adjustment to reduce joint restrictions and misalignments in the spine. Upper cervical adjustments help promote fluid drainage, reducing the likelihood of buildup and subsequent infections. Chiropractic adjustments of the occiput (back of the skull) and atlas (first cervical vertebra) help prevent chronic ear infections by correcting misalignments and dysfunction.

Below are some of the benefits chiropractic adjustments provide for children with ear infections:

  • Relief from pain and discomfort
  • Increased mobility in the upper spine
  • Decreased inflammation

Want to learn more about pediatric chiropractic care? Visit our blog post. Please use our online scheduling tool to book an appointment, or call 712-249-8231 for more information.

Five Benefits of Pediatric Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care is not only for adults. From babies to toddlers to teens, children can also benefit from a trip to the chiropractor’s office.

As a father myself, I observed several benefits with our daughter, who was born 12 weeks early. Because she was born prematurely, she was at an increased risk of certain neurological and digestive disorders. She also had to spend several weeks in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), hooked up to several cords that limited her range of motion. Shortly after we brought her home, my wife and I noticed that our daughter occasionally had trouble latching or going to the bathroom, and would become overly fussy or inconsolable. When these things would happen, I’d gently assess her spine to provide relief. I could instantly tell a difference, as her body would relax into my arms and she’d stop crying. In many cases, she’d be able to resume nursing right away and/or go to the bathroom within 12-24 hours. Having a little one of my own has made me more aware of the importance of regular pediatric chiropractic care, and I’m honored to be able to help parents find similar relief for their children.

Below are five important benefits of taking your child to the chiropractor.

Improved Sleep

Sleep is an essential part of a child’s life. It doesn’t just help them function. It’s also important for their development and emotional wellbeing. Unfortunately certain tensions can make it difficult to sleep, often leading to insomnia. Since chiropractic care works to relieve stress in the body, it can also improve sleep.

Immune System Function

Chiropractic care has many benefits for a child’s immune system. It can help those suffering from a cold or infection, as well as improve immunity functions. Going to a chiropractor can also improve a child’s digestive system and target related issues, such as stomach problems, constipation and acid reflux.

Better Behavior

Less stress leads to better behavior. Chiropractic care helps children improve their attitudes by releasing tension. Improved sleep can also reduce stress, which can help your child function better during the day.

Nervous System Support

The benefits of pediatric adjustments extend into the nervous system. Chiropractors make sure the spine is growing in the correct way. This prevents and treats certain nervous system issues like ear infections. Pediatric chiropractic care can also treat asthma, allergies and other respiratory issues by targeting misaligned nerves that affect a child’s respiratory system.

Brain Development

Chiropractic care can improve your child’s neural brain development by releasing pressure on bones and joints as well as the spine. Increased brain development promotes better concentration, improved focus and reduced hyperactivity. This includes targeting conditions like ADD and ADHD.

Please use our online scheduling tool to book an appointment, or call 712-249-8231 for more information.

Ionic Foot Bath: What Is It and How Does It Work?

We’re honored to be one of the only providers in the region to offer the Ionic Foot Bath, a foot soak treatment that helps restore the body’s balance and energy levels by detoxifying or eliminating harmful toxins and pollutants.

What are the benefits of an ionic foot bath?

Ionic foot baths offer several benefits, including:

  • Improving lymph circulation, similar to a Swedish massage
  • Relieving migraines and headaches
  • Improving skin conditions
  • Increasing natural energy levels
  • Improving sleep quality and relaxation
  • Strengthening immune system function to help fight off viruses
  • Relieving muscle/joint pain and swelling

How does an ionic foot detox work?

An ionic foot bath combines water, salt and a small electrical current to produce charged ionic energy that helps promote detoxification. During the 30-minute session, the water in the bath changes color. This change in color is caused by the oxidation of the metal plates in the bath reacting with solutes in the water as toxins release from the body. Over the next 24-48 hours, toxins continue to flush out of the body naturally through the lymphatic system (network of tissues and organs that help rid the body of toxins) and excretory system (part of the body that performs excretion or discharges waste).

What do the colors in an ionic foot bath mean?

Each person’s foot bath looks a little different. Some baths are really thick and full of multiple colors, while others are thinner and not very colorful. Patients who do regular sessions may notice that their foot baths become less murky as time goes on and they begin to feel better.

Depending on your specific condition(s) and environmental exposures, you may observe the following during your session:

  • Yellow-green: Indicates detoxification of the kidneys, bladder, urinary tract and/or female prostate area; may be an indication of gynecological or prostate disorders.
  • Orange: Indicates detoxification of the joints or arteries; may be an indication of arthritis, gout, neuropathy or pleurisy (inflammation of the tissues that line the lungs and chest cavity).
  • Brown: Indicates detoxification of the liver, lungs, tobacco or cellular debris; often seen in patients who smoke or have been exposed to heavy second-hand smoke or another air pollutant.
  • Dark green or black: Indicates detoxification of the gallbladder or liver; may be associated with gallstones, acid reflux, a weak immune system or nausea.
  • Red flecks: Typically a sign of blood clot material; may also be associated with arterial blockage, bruising, hypertension or cold hands/feet.
  • White foam: Indicates detoxification of the lymphatic system or lymph nodes; may be an indication of a menstrual disorder, tender lymph nodes or clogged skin caused by an allergy.
  • Black flecks: Indicates detoxification of heavy metals; other symptoms of toxicity may include chronic fatigue or memory problems.

Who is a good candidate for an ionic foot bath?

Nearly everyone, except for those with open sores or an infection on their feet, can benefit from an ionic foot bath. The body is built to detoxify on its own. However, we are constantly bombarded by toxins, which can place added stress on the body, causing pain and dysfunction. An ionic foot bath is a safe and effective way to assist the body in detoxifying these stressors.

How long does a foot bath take?

This treatment lasts approximately 30 minutes and can be offered in conjunction with other treatments or on its own.

Please use our online scheduling tool to book an appointment, or call 712-249-8231 for more information.

Seven Tips to Manage Stress

person grabbing faceElections are stressful — and this one particularly so. It’s hard not to feel overwhelmed, helpless and anxious when it feels like the fate of our country is so precarious.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to minimize conflict and take care of yourself.

  1. Seek chiropractic careChiropractic services, such as adjustments or manipulation, trigger point dry needling and soft tissue therapy, can help release muscle tension, soothe irritated spinal nerves and improve blood circulation — changes that can often alert the brain to switch off the fight-or-flight response and help your body relax.
  2. Schedule a massage – Regular massages can rebalance your hormones and release muscle tension caused by stress. Research also shows that it can lower your heart rate and blood pressure, as well as increase the production of “feel good” endorphins, serotonin and dopamine.
  3. Make time for fitness – Your body can fight off stress better when it’s physically fit. Consider going for a walk, lifting weights or swimming for at least 30 minutes most days per week to stay active and keep your body in shape.
  4. Practice relaxation techniques – Yoga, meditation and Tai Chi are great relaxation techniques for managing stress. Practicing these methods for even a few minutes each day can provide a sense of overall calmness as well as ease anxiety.
  5. Get adequate rest – In addition to regular exercise, your body needs proper time to recover. Give your body the rest it needs by taking breaks when necessary and getting at least 7-9 hours of sleep (more for children and teens) each night.
  6. Eat a balanced diet– Chronic stress can make you more susceptible to viral illnesses, GI issues and infections. Consuming processed food and beverages, like chips, soda and candy, actually increases the volume of stress on your body and contributes to other health issues. Consider reaching for nutrient-dense foods that promote good gut bacteria, such as prebiotics and probiotics. Fruits and vegetables with inulin, like asparagus, bananas, garlic and onions, contain prebiotics. Fermented foods, like kefir, kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut and yogurt are great sources of probiotics.
  7. Avoid drugs and alcohol – If you typically reach for a cigarette or a glass of wine when you’re stressed, consider a new vice. Drugs, alcohol and tobacco can stress your body out even more and often lead to serious health issues like heart disease, liver disease, respiratory diseases and GI problems.

While it’s impossible to completely eliminate all stress from your life, the strategies above can help you manage your symptoms. Prioritizing self-care first can help you cope with what comes next. And remember, there’s nothing wrong with asking for help. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 712-249-8231.

Benefits of Chiropractic Care During Pregnancy

One of the most important times to receive chiropractic care is during pregnancy. As your body changes to accommodate your growing baby, your center of gravity shifts and so does your spine. This can cause a ripple effect, stressing your musculoskeletal and nervous systems, which can cause pain and discomfort.

Fortunately, chiropractic care offers several benefits, including:

  1. Relieving low back pain and pelvic pain

Studies show that more than 75 percent of pregnant women experience pregnancy-related low back pain, pelvic pain or a combination of the two. Chiropractic care is a safe, effective and drug-free way to manage these and other musculoskeletal symptoms during pregnancy. Adjustments can help correct posture and spinal curvature to keep back pain, hip pain and pelvic pain at bay.

2. Reducing morning sickness

Nausea, or morning sickness, is one of the most common pregnancy symptoms, and it can be highly uncomfortable. Chiropractic care can help reduce nausea and vomiting by realigning the spine and improving nervous system function. If you suspect your nausea is being triggered by heartburn or constipation, chiropractic care can also help improve digestive issues to settle your stomach.

3. Optimizing baby positioning

Chiropractic care during pregnancy can help you maintain healthy pelvic balance, so your baby has enough room to freely move head-first into the correct delivery position. During your eighth month of pregnancy, consider making regular chiropractic adjustments a priority to avoid breech presentation and optimize positioning.

4. Improving labor and delivery

Women who want to experience natural childbirth without the use of medications can benefit from chiropractic care during pregnancy to help simplify and improve the birthing experience. Getting regular chiropractic adjustments can help ensure the pelvis, spine and hips are properly aligned for a faster labor and easier delivery.

5. Controlling edema (swelling)

Edema, or water retention, is an all-too-common side effect during pregnancy. In fact, research shows that nearly half of pregnant women will experience this condition, with edema usually occurring in the fingers, face, back, feet and ankles. Chiropractic care can help flush water from the body through a series of spinal adjustments, manipulations and massage techniques.

Even if you’ve gone through most of your pregnancy without seeing a chiropractor, it’s not too late. Perhaps you felt great for eight months but your baby still hasn’t flipped into the proper head-down position and your due date is rapidly approaching. Or, maybe you simply need a little relief during the final home stretch. Rather than toughing it out and waiting until your baby is born, consider adding regular chiropractic care into your routine to get the relief you need.

Please use our online scheduling tool to book an appointment, or call 712-249-8231 for more information.