Dr. Bell's Blog

ADHD: How Chiropractic Can Help

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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a mental disorder that is now happening to more and more children every year.  It is often characterized by difficulty concentrating, staying focused, paying attention, remembering details, etc..  In the past 8 years alone there has been a 42% increase in the number of children that have been diagnosed with this problem.  6.4 million American children between the ages of 4-17 currently have the diagnosis. We can talk and debate for hours about all of the potential reasons for this, and possible solutions, but the fact remains the numbers continue to increase every year.  

Standard Treatment

Traditionally ADHD has been treated with medication to manage the symptoms.  These medications include but are not limited to Ritalin, Focalin, Methylin, Dexedrine, and Adderall. Essentially they are classified as stimulants, and some (including Adderall and Dexedrine) are also in the Amphetamine category.  Yes, giving your child a regular dose of amphetamines should scare you.  These are dangerous medications than can cause many long lasting side effects. Aside from the dangers of taking the medication, the main issue is that this approach fails to address why they have this problem in the first place.  Dig deeper and try to look for the root cause(s) of the problem.

Look At Everything

There is not one sole cause of ADHD symptoms, and it can get very complex.  However, the following tips and lifestyle changes are a great place to start in order to begin to get the symptoms under control.

  • Diet:  Strive to virtually eliminate sugar, food additives, and processed foods from their diet.  These things can have an enormous impact on how your child's body functions.  While you are at it, join them. These products are not good for an adult either.  Get healthier at the same time you are trying to help your child.
  • Exercise:  Are they getting enough exercise?  Many children today sit around way too much.  Get them involved in regular exercise.  This can be signing them up for a high energy burning sport like basketball, soccer, hockey, etc..  These activities can really help them to burn off excess energy.
  • Allergy testing:  Many children today (for reasons which are somewhat unknown) are allergic to many common foods and substances.  Get them tested to see if this could be playing a role.

The Role of Chiropractic

If you think chiropractic is limited to adults and back pain, you are mistaken.  Chiropractic care can benefit children of all ages including those with ADHD.  Nervous system pressure, particularly in the upper portion of their neck, can significantly impact how their body functions.  This happens when one of the top vertebrae in your spine become misaligned.  We call this problem a spinal subluxation.  Specific chiropractic adjustments correct subluxations and help restore proper nerve flow between the brain and body.  This has been shown in study after study to have a significant positive impact on a child's behavior.  Combining this with the necessary diet and lifestyle changes can help lead your child to better health, and allow them to...

LIVE well. BE well.

 

 

 

 

 

Back Pain: Ice vs. Heat...What is Best?

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It can be very confusing, when back and neck pain strike, to know whether to use ice or heat.  The use of both cold and heat therapy can both be effective in the care of back and neck pain, but it is important to know when to use each.  There are some black and white specific rules when to use each, with some shades of gray mixed in.  Let's take a look...

What To Do In The First 24-72 Hours

The purpose of ice application is to reduce inflammation.  This happens from vasoconstriction, or narrowing of the blood vessels.  The general rule of thumb for most injuries, including back pain, is to apply ice for the first 1-3 days.  Ice should never be applied directly on the skin, and should not exceed 20 minutes in duration.  Longer applications will not provide any additional benefit, and can lead to frostbite and ultimately increased inflammation.   Application should also not exceed 8-10 times over a 24 hour period. Frozen gel packs are great to use, but so are frozen vegetables.

Heat for Healing

Applying heat to an injury helps increase blood flow to the area, creates vasodilation (enlarged blood vessels), relaxes tight muscles, which ultimately helps promote healing.  Heat should be applied once the initial inflammation has subsided, and should only be applied for 10-15 minutes at a time.  Just like with ice application, never apply it directly on your skin (exception is soaking in a warm bathtub) to avoid burning your skin. Heat therapy comes in many forms including a hot bath, warm towels, hot stones, as well as a heating pad.

Sometimes Both is Best

Alternating cold and heat therapy can be a very effective tool to manage pain and speed up recovery.  This essentially reduces inflammation and loosens muscles simultaneously, and is the foundation that pain relief ointments like Icy Hot are built on.  In most cases starting with ice and following it immediately with heat is what works best.  Apply each for 15 minutes, with no break in between.

In closing, whether you are applying ice, heat, or both, it is best to listen to your body and the feedback you receive while doing it.  How does it feel?  If ice is helping, stick with ice.  If ice is making it more stiff, switch to heat.  Sometimes what we feel will work the best, doesn't always. Trust the feedback you get back from your body, and don't forget to fix the root cause of the problem. Ice and heat help address the symptom, but getting your spine checked and adjusted will help you get to the root of the problem so that you can...

Live Well. Be Well. 

What is Slipping and Checking?

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Dr. BJ Palmer, the developer of chiropractic, wrote extensively in his writings about slipping and checking.  It was originally intended for the chiropractic profession to keep it on a focused path of delivering our message to mankind.  The message, however,  not only applies to the chiropractor, but also the patient...in every aspect of our lives.  

We are all constantly slipping, but are you checking?

The slip comes easy, we make that happen without much effort.  You eat food you told yourself that you wouldn't.  You promised to get up early and workout today, but you slept in.  The slips in our day to day lives are endless.  It is ultimately what brings us poor and unwanted results. We are all human, so these will never completely stop. The question is what will you do about them, and how fast, in order to stop the slip.

The Check...

By human nature we are all lazy, and seek the easy path.  It is easier to sleep in, than get up and workout.  It is easier to stop and get food at the drive-thru, than go home and cook a healthy meal.  BJ Palmer said, "The path of least resistance is what makes rivers and men crooked."  It requires work to constantly check yourself, but those that do it the quickest and most frequent are the ones who get the biggest rewards. You need to recognize the slip when it happens and act swiftly and intentionally to correct it.  Doing this repeatedly will create a path to success.   

Commit today to checking.  Commit to a healthier you.  

Ultimately, commit to...

LIVE well.  BE well. 

 

 

 

In The Words of Nike...Just Do It!

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Stephen King once said, "The scariest moment is just before you start.  After that things can only get better." 

What if I fail?

What will people think?  

I can never do that.

This is the limiting self talk that runs through your head when you are thinking about doing something that you have never done before.  The starting is always the hardest part.  For me, what comes to mind is going for a run or bike ride on a cold day.  The first foot out the door is always the worst part.  However, once you are out there it is never as bad as you imagined it would be.  I have never regretted going for a run...only not going.  

Regret.  It's an awful thing.  In many cases, as life goes on, there is not much you can do to fix it.  The most common answer given by a multi-millionaire when asked if they have any regrets in life, is they wish they would have taken better care of themselves. That's the type of regret that no amount of money can fix.

If you have been thinking of changing the way you take care of your body and your health...Just Do It!  Start a new approach to eating.  Begin a new exercise routine.  Stay regular with taking care of your spine and nervous system.  What will people think?  Who cares!  If we only knew how little people think or care what we do, you would never think twice about trying something new again. The first step will be the hardest. Trust me, it's never as hard as you think it will be as long as you fully embrace it and approach it with an open mind.  

I always finish blog posts with LIVE well, BE well.  These are words to remember as you begin on your new health journey.  This does not mean that change isn't hard. It can even feel terrifying at times. My encouragement to you is not to let a temporary feeling keep you from experiencing the long-term joy that comes form taking care of yourself better. Challenges and obstacles are all part of any journey worth taking. But you will love the breakthroughs that exist on the other side of those things once you commit to putting in the consistency of care for yourself.

That approach will truly help you today, tomorrow, and into the future, so that you can...

LIVE well.  BE well.

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