How to Prevent and Treat Scoliosis

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Scoliosis is the abnormal curving or twisting of the spine to the side. In a correct spine structure, front-to-back curves should be seen along the spine from the neck to the pelvis. This disorder seems to be hereditary in some families. It is not known why in many cases, scoliosis appears in children, adolescents, and young adults who previously had normal spine. Scoliosis with an unknown cause is referred to as idiopathic scoliosis. This condition affects both boys and girls, but girls with idiopathic scoliosis are more expected to develop worse curve condition that may warrant treatment.


Scoliosis is a chronic disease that can eventually get worse when not treated immediately. In some cases, a curved spine that grows during a person’s infancy or childhood may be neglected and untreated until he reaches his teenage years. Such position of the spine can have serious consequences. It affects muscle development, including the growth of ligaments around the spinal column, which causes the pelvis and the ribs to twist or rotate to the other side.


Prevention of Scoliosis


It is unfortunate for people who have risk factors for scoliosis, especially those where this disorder runs in the family, that most cases of scoliosis cannot be prevented. The only exception to this is for scoliosis that is related to osteoporosis.


In numerous studies conducted, it hasn’t been proven yet that maintaining a good posture and doing regular exercises can actually prevent scoliosis. The common measures for increasing bone mass and strengthening bones, on the other hand, may not be helpful in preventing scoliosis either. Even boosting one’s intakes of vitamin D and calcium that are known to promote bone health are of no significant effect. Neither is doing regular weight exercises. The only benefit that can be gained from these measures is that they may help prevent situations associated with spinal fractures. However, early detection can definitely help prevent worsening of the condition.


It is advisable, therefore, to check your child’s spine conditions and development regularly, even during infancy. Your local chiropractor can really help you with this. Any concerns should be discussed with a health care specialist. Regular pediatric examinations and school nurse assessments can identify signs and symptoms of scoliosis.


Treatment for Scoliosis


The treatment for scoliosis depends on several factors, including the patient’s age and sex, the gravity of the scoliosis as determined by the spinal curvature, the type of scoliosis, as well as the location of the curve. In girls, it should also be identified whether the patient has started to menstruate or not yet. The time when menstruation begins is directly linked with the stage of her bone growth. Knowledge of this will help identify the risk of the disease progressing.


The good news for patients is that in most cases, scoliosis is minor and requires no complicated treatments. The key critical thing to watch out for and to make sure is that the condition should not get worse. Hence, the affected person should engage in regular check-ups and be examined regularly by his or her doctor specializing in bone health.


In more serious cases that cause pain and discomfort, treatment is typically required. Back-strengthening exercises are one form of physical treatment that may be done. For the worst cases of scoliosis, however, the use of special back braces and surgery should be considered.


If you notice an abnormal curve in your child’s spine, it is important that you visit your child’s doctor immediately so he can do a thorough exam on your child. In these and other cases where scoliosis is detected for the first time, it is best to get professional help.


Happiness and the State of Mind


Wondering why some people seems to be happy always as if they don’t have any problems of their own? Know how these happy people define happiness.


She always has a ready smile for everyone she meets. She brightens the room with her mere presence, attracting men and women alike to come near her and talk to her. She glows. She exudes that certain light you rarely see in these stress-filled times.


You can’t help but ask yourself, why is she so blooming? Why does she seem so worry-free? Why is she so happy?


In these days when people are faced with too much tension, stress, problems, and worries, happiness seems to be so elusive. People hardly smile, and all you can hear are rants and sighs.


Want to know the secrets of happy people?  Read on and learn how happy people define happiness.


Happy people are in love with life. They are content and are thankful for what they have. They look forward to each day, knowing that something good is in store for them somehow.


Happy people reach out to others. They obtain joy from helping other people. They are compassionate toward the needy and the underprivileged, giving whatever they can — time, resources, and sometimes, just their smile. They care and they demonstrate that through little acts of kindness. More importantly, they do not expect anything in return.


Happy people love to be around other people. They are curious about the persons around them. They want to get to know who they are and what makes them happy. They are willing to share a part of themselves. They forge lasting friendships grounded on trust and loyalty.


Happy people are optimistic. They do not dwell on problems and past hurts. Instead, they strive to live each day to the fullest. And they laugh more – for a good reason!


Happy people love unceasingly. They are overflowing with genuine love for other people. Their hearts are filled with joy, knowing that there is no burden of hatred, remorse, or whatever negative feelings.


Now that their secret is out, maybe it’s time you try to be one of them.

Common Sports Injuries Treated by Chiropractors

United States's Charlie Davies is checked out by a trainer during the second half in a World Cup qualifying soccer match against El Salvador in Sandy, Utah, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2009. Davies was helped off the field and had to leave the game that the United States won over El Salvador 2-1. (AP Photo/George Frey)

Sports, whether done for enjoyment, competition, or as a profession, involve a lot of risks. A common goal of athletes is to bring out his or her best performance – faster, higher, and stronger – as the Olympics motto goes. The winning attitude pushes athletes to exert their muscles to their limits, whether it is in the workout gym, but even more so in the competition proper.  Unfortunately for some, they perform beyond their physical limits, which is their breaking point. Injuries of these types are common.


Injuries sustained in sports can be frustrating because they usually take time to heal. Injured athletes and sports enthusiasts alike all want to be back in the playing field yesterday, yet this is not possible. An effective treatment and care program is necessary to bring the injured player back to normal form and at a competitive level. That is where chiropractic care becomes so important.


A chiropractor is a healthcare professional who has training and expertise in sports medicine. Getting the injury assessed by a chiropractor and treated will bring you back to your playing form faster. Furthermore, the chiropractor can determine any bad practices or habits you may have that may lead to the recurrence of your injury.


Common Sports Injuries Chiropractic Can Treat


Here are some of the cost common injuries in sports and the treatment methods chiropractors employ to address them:


  • Hamstring injury. Hamstring injury can be pulls or strains commonly caused by inadequate warm up and not enough flexibility before playing your sport. In treating the area affected by the injury, your chiropractor will do the following:


  • Apply the RICE (Rest-Ice-Compression-Elevation techniques) principle if the injury was sustained within the last 48 hours. Rest will be advised to the injured person. Ice therapy in conjunction with compression, will be applied. The compression methods will use both ice (cryogenic) and static compression. Finally, the sore or injured area will be elevated. The last three techniques help minimize swelling.
  • Use electrotherapy and ultrasound to control swelling
  • Prescribe stretching to increase flexibility
  • Perform chiropractic adjustments to relieve tightness of the joints
  • Work on the muscle tissues to address scar tissues
  • Prescribe exercise program for strength recovery and prevention of further injury

The chiropractor will also look for muscular imbalances.


  • Low back strain. Most of these types of injury are caused by sudden twisting or turning motions. A strong core should be one of your important goals to be able to continue playing. Forward bending movements should be avoided as it puts too much stress to the spine. It can also increase the risk of injury especially when you are being struck. Your chiropractor will use these approaches to help treat  low back strain:


  • Chiropractic adjustments for pain relief and increased range of motion
  • Exercises for low back stretching
  • Training to strengthen core


  • Tennis elbow. The elbow is one of the areas of your body where there is least supply of blood. The injury may take a longer time to heal because of this. It is therefore important to return to your activity gradually, as getting back to action too quickly without total recovery, can cause deterioration to your injury. Your chiropractor will utilize several techniques in the treatment of tennis elbow, among them are:


  • Chiropractic manipulation to increase elbow joint motion
  • Work on the muscle tissues to break scar tissues up
  • Stretching exercises for increased range of motion
  • Exercises to strengthen the forearm


  • Runner’s knee. Even non-runners can get runner’s knee. Any sport where there is running or sprinting involved can cause runner’s knee. For this type of injury, your chiropractor will employ:


  • Stretching of specific muscles in the knee area
  • Inner knee muscles strengthening
  • Deep tissue massage to help break scar tissues up
  • Examine the gait and form of walking
  • Correct any problems in the low back joints that can alter leg movement


The desire to win should not be pursued at the expense of your health. Athletes should not just strive to win but stay injury-free and excel. Chiropractic care is an important healthcare method towards this end.



Chiropractic Care and Running


The amount of time athletes put into their training and preparation is often remarkable. This is especially true with athletes involved in competitions and professional athletes. Like many other men and women who are into sports, runners want to constantly challenge and bring out the best in themselves. Their goals do not stop with their achieving their personal best performance. It is just the first step in their quest to excel among a field of other elite athletes they will perform against and pit athletic prowess with. Runners training over 300 kilometers and spending dozens of hours per week on the tracks and on the roads is not unusual.


It is unfortunate when injuries, whether minor or major, can easily disrupt the runners’ pursuit of athletic excellence. The injured runner will want to be back running and competing immediately, though this is not possible.


Chiropractic Care and Running


Chiropractic care is important for injured and healthy runners alike. There is no argument about the benefits of chiropractic care in the treatment of an injured runner, but it may seem odd for a healthy runner to consider chiropractic care. Getting treatment when injury has occurred is a natural response. Curative action is a given. The most sensible way to avoid getting injured is to take care of yourself while you are healthy. This is the essence of preventive healthcare. Chiropractic care covers e two major aspects of sports medicine, which are the treatment of sports injuries as well as preventive healthcare. Many athletes undergo chiropractic care regularly to maintain their optimum level of health and fitness.


Running takes a toll on your body because of the hard pounding it gets with every movement of your feet. The beating your body receives becomes magnified when your core is not properly aligned. Continuing with this high impact activity without getting aligned can result to long-term injury and pain. Runners with poor alignment are likely to suffer from a number of health issues including pain in the lower back, feet, shoulders or pinched nerves. Seeking chiropractic care after the injuries begin will entail rehabilitation rather than injury prevention.


Expert chiropractors are able to catch injuries in the athletes before they actually happen. Runners, according to them, are more susceptible to conditions described as lower crossed syndrome or posterior chain weakness. Both require chiropractic adjustments to correct, over time. Some of the injuries from running that they see most commonly are ankle sprains, plantar fasciitis, knee pain, hip pain and shin splints. They are all considered overuse injuries. In the regular chiropractic care for runners, chiropractors are more focused on the functions of each part of the athlete’s body, and not necessarily on the pain. This preventive approach can get a runner back on track more quickly compared to if they sustain an injury. The other advantages preventive chiropractic care brings to runners are:


  • Better reaction time
  • Improved coordination
  • Improved accuracy and precision
  • Increased balance and
  • Stronger muscles


Chiropractors examine runners and perform a thorough evaluation on their alignment, posture and functions. It is through these exams that they often discover deficiencies or issues with the runners’ biomechanics. Based on the results of this evaluation, personalized adjustments are offered. When the condition of the runner warrants, posture correction or even rehabilitative therapy may be done.


Although the biggest motivation for runners and athletes is winning, it is not the be-all and and-all of the sports. Just as important is the the prevention of injury and staying healthy and fit. Chiropractic care is an important source of support in the runner’s exploitation of athletic prowess and in preventive healthcare and long-term fitness.

Chiropractic Care and Yoga



Yoga has been a popular choice of exercise for most people, especially during the past decade.


The Origin of Yoga


The word yoga has its ancient root in the Sanskrit language which means to merge, unite, or join together. In yoga, one of the key aspects is control, aiming to help an individual develop control over his body, mind, and breath. Literally, the word “Yoga” means balance, thus making it is a form of exercise following the concept that a person’s body and breath are closely connected with the mind. It states that when one controls his breath and holds his body in fixed positions, known as asanas, yoga brings harmony.


Yoga is a physical activity that aims to balance and harmonize the body, mind, and emotions of a person. It is an instrument that enables a person to temporarily escape from the disorders of this world and enjoy a preaceful space within. In order to achieve this, yoga utilizes breath, movement, posture, meditation, and relaxation, establishing a healthy, energetic, and balanced approach to life.


Branches of Yoga


Whether one desires to lose weight or to tone his body, yoga is chosen for its relaxing and low-impact movements.  Many think that yoga involves only one branch. However, yoga has surprisingly six branches: hatha yoga, raja, karma, bhakti, jnana, and tantra yoga. Each branch is equipped with its own unique characteristics. However, these characteristics may overlap in between the branches.


Raja yoga has meditation as its focal point. It suggests a path of contemplation. Thus, it usually appeals to individuals who are introspective, such as members of religious orders and spiritual communities. This path requires strict adherence to the eight “limbs” of yoga, which follow a particular order.  This order consists of ethical standards, self-discipline, posture, breath extension, sensory withdrawal, concentration, meditation, and final liberation.


Karma yoga, on the other hand, follows the path of service. The underlying principle is that our present conditions are influenced by our actions in the past. Knowing this therefore, one becomes conscious of the way he acts in the present, careful in laying down the path towards his getting a better future which is free from negativity. Karma yoga is deemed exercised when one lives his life in a selfless fashion.


The third limb of yoga is called bhakti yoga, which involves a path of devotion. It is also considered the yoga of the heart. It teaches one to acquire a positive way to channel his emotions, as brought about by the disposition to see the divine in everything. Thus, this limb cultivates acceptance and tolerance by a person for everybody else.


The next branch is called the jnana yoga, or the the yoga of the mind. This is the path of the sage or scholar. This involves the development of the intellect, thus it requires intense study.  It is considered the most difficult and serious approach in yoga.


Tantra yoga, the last branch, is the pathway of ritual. It helps cultivate a reverential attitude, since it involves experiencing the divine in everything. This path involves consecrated sexuality, which accounts for the common conception that tantra yoga is associated exclusively with sexual ritual. However, such is not true, and tantra yoga should appeal to everyone who enjoys ceremonies and rituals, like birthdays and anniversaries.


Combining Yoga with Chiropractic Care


While chiropractic care involves body adjustment and yoga is a form of sport, studies have shown that the combination of the two significantly improves the condition of one’s body and health. For one, chiropractic adjustment is useful for many yoga beginners who are prone to muscle strains and other injuries resulting from the difficult stretches of yoga. Another observed benefit is that yoga and chiropractic work together in harmony to improve the person’s posture, flexibility, and motion.


Moreover, since both practices involve the functions of the mind and body, they complement one another in tuning the body’s nervous, muscle, and skeletal system. Chiropractors and yoga instructors both agree to the improved benefits brought by the combination of these two physical activities.



Encouraging Children to Engage in Sports



Most of the great tennis players of today started young; some even turned pro when they were barely eighteen.  Most of the great athletes in other fields of sports also started playing during their childhood or teenage years.


It is common to see young children playing football, hockey, and even fencing. This is due to the fact that parents recognize the importance of developing a child’s appreciation at an early age.


A child should learn about sports not only because they wanted to become a Pete Sampras or a Tiger Woods, but there are a lot of good traits which one can learn from sports. A child can learn the value of teamwork, especially when the sport involves the participation of several people. Sports can also teach a child about discipline. It also helps develop the children’s agility and strength, and most importantly, it improves the physical health and fitness of young kids.


Here are some ways to encourage a child to get into sports:


  1. Start playing simple games around the house. The game of tag can develop into track and field. By playing dodge ball, one could get into football.  Or perhaps your child is interested in other sports, such as gymnastics? Either way a game of catch between the father and son can encourage the child to play in the Little League.


  1. Buy toys which will encourage the child to get into a sport. A mini-golf set or a baseball are ideal gifts.  The parent can also buy other types of sports equipment (not necessarily toys) such as a tennis racket or a basketball.


  1. The parents should join their children in the game. A child will be more encouraged to attend tennis lessons in the club if their parents are there, as well, playing.  And in case the child needs to practice at home, he or she will not be at a loss because his parent can help hi m or her.


  1. Watch games on the television or take the child to a game. The thrill of seeing thousands of people cheering for one’s favorite team can be an unforgettable event in the child’s life.  The son or daughter will see the impact of his or her favorite sports to thousand other people.


  1. If a parent can, he or she can take the child to meet his or her sports hero. Aside from watching a game, meeting one’s idol can also be an exhilarating experience.


  1. Enroll them to local tennis or football lessons. This way, they will also learn that other children appreciate the sport as well.  And if their skill would allow, they can also be members of the local team for the different sport activities.


When you teach your children the importance of sports at their young age, you can expect that they will value their health, performance, and self-worth as they grow older.

Gymnastics for Beginners


Gymnastics is a sport that aims to improve the physical condition and muscular coordination of a person. It is educational and developmental in nature, not to emphasize the physical benefits it brings to the athlete. This sport also enables the athlete to develop many physical abilities including balance, agility, strength, flexibility, endurance, coordination, and confidence.


The word Gymnastics comes from the Greek term Gymnazein, which literally means exercising without clothes. It is a sport in which an individual is required to do elective and imposed acrobatic feats which show strength, balance, and body control. It also involves calisthenics, tumbling, and movements on apparatuses.


Apparatuses like horizontal bars, parallel bars, vaulting horse, side or pommel horse, rings, and floor exercises are for male individuals; while the uneven parallel bars, vaulting horse, balance beam, and floor exercises are for females.


The basic activities in gymnastics are stunts and tumbling, rhythmic gymnastics with light apparatus, and artistic gymnastics together with heavy apparatus and floor exercises.


To begin with, it is important for a starter to do calisthenics or floor exercises prior to doing exercises using the different apparatuses. A starter needs only mats and space for floor exercises. The area for practicing should be about forty feet on each side, providing enough margin for safety.


Some starters are limited by stiffness, or rather, lack of flexibility. To develop flexibility, it is good to start floor exercises first so as to help your hips, lower back, and shoulders to have a workout.


The mat to be used should be about one and a half meters by three meters, and about five to ten centimeters thick. It should not be slippery on each side. It is important to remember that when doing floor exercises, an adult should be present to watch your every move, to guard you from mistakes in case of need.


By rubbing your palms with bicarbonate of magnesia in powder form, this will prevent you from having slippery grip, caused by sweaty palms.


Before your try performing gymnastics, make sure that you have seen live practices and performance or videos to give you an idea what happens in the gym. Moreover, you have to prepare physically and mentally in order to perform the movements properly and safely.


Why Laughter is Good for the Health



There is a very old adage which says that laughter is the best medicine. Experience shows that this might just be true.


Health Benefits of Laughter


Laughter has been discovered to have some beneficial effects both to the health and emotional well-being of persons. It reduces natural killer cells that are released by the body. Instead of these killer cells, the body, with the help of laughter, releases more endorphins and enkephalins. Endorphins and enkephalins are the body’s natural painkillers. Laughter also has the effect of strengthening the organs. It also increases circulation, lowers blood pressure and improves breathing. Lastly, it strengthens the body’ immune system which protects us against disease. It is therefore safe to say that a person who laughs more has a lesser tendency to get sick.


Laughter is also very good for reducing stress. It relaxes the muscles in the body which is a primary cause of stress. It also reduces the levels of stress-creating hormones released by the body and releases tension. Thus people are happier.


Aside from the medical values of laughter, laughter, as we all know it, fosters good relationship. Since people are less stressed and are happier, they are able to deal better with other people. People who laugh often have more glow on their faces and tends to be more approachable. Laughter is a good way to make friends.


Laughter is also a very good escape for awkward situations. During embarrassing situation, laughter gets rid of the awkwardness that developed among the people involved and the people who were able to witness the situation. Being able to laugh at one’s own embarrassment tends to make the situation more embarrassing both at that precise moment when the situation arises and in the future when the situation may be remembered again. In fact, it may be an anecdote to lighten up conversations.


Aside from embarrassing situations, another awkward situation which may be avoided by laughter is situations of conflict. While not all situations may be dealt with through laughter, many of them may be. Laughter helps to lighten the mood, and make the people forget about the conflict and continue on with whatever they are doing.


Laughter is the best medicine. It does not mean however that all things should be taken lightly. It also means that some things should not be taken very seriously. So keep on laughing.


Scoliosis and Chiropractic Care


Scoliosis is a prevalent disorder of the spine affecting 5 to 7 million people in the United States alone. More than a half million doctor visits are made each year for examination and treatment of scoliosis.

Scoliosis happens when the spine curves or twists to the side of the body. In a normal spine structure, there are several front-to-back curves along the entire length of the spine.


Scoliosis most often develops in adolescents aged between 10 and 15 years, although it can begin at any age. It is not known why in most cases, scoliosis appears in young people who previously had normal spines. Idiopathic scoliosis is the term for scoliosis without a known cause. Girls are more commonly affected than boys. Girls with idiopathic scoliosis are more prone to develop worse curve conditions.


In about 90% of all scoliosis cases, curves are unnoticeable to mild – less than 20 degrees – and do not require active treatment. These small curves should not be a cause for great concern, as long as there are no indications of further deterioration.  Adolescents who are in the growing stage should take care to have their spine curves be monitored for change periodically. Even mild curvatures can worsen rapidly in a few months. Increases in spinal deformity, when noted, require evaluation by orthopedic doctor to determine if they warrant active treatment.


A patient’s age and gender, severity of bone curvature and its degree of progression, location of the curve in the spine, status of menstruation in girls, and associated symptoms such as back pain, etc. are all considered to determine the treatment for scoliosis.


Treatment Options for Scoliosis


The three general treatment options for scoliosis are careful observation, bracing, and surgery. Careful observation is the most common “treatment,” especially that most mild scoliosis do not progress and cause few physical problems. Bracing is generally prescribed for children and who have curves between 25 and 45 degrees. Surgery is generally used in the few severe cases where the curves are greater than 45 degrees. It is also employed when scoliosis is progressive, or when it may affect the function of the vital organs like the heart and lungs.


Chiropractic and Scoliosis


Other techniques advocated in the treatment of scoliosis are spinal manipulation, therapeutic exercise, and electrical muscle stimulation. Reduction of scoliosis could not be achieved with any one of these therapies alone.  In studies conducted on patients with scoliosis who were treated with chiropractic adjustments, it was found that:


  • For patients with back pain along with the scoliosis, manipulation and exercise may be of help.
  • Chiropractic adjustments are the method of treatment that seems most effective in treating acute, short-term pain. However, chronic conditions do not seem effectively managed by long-term chiropractic care.
  • Proper spinal manipulation done to reduce tightness of vertebrae and stretch back muscles may help reduce symptoms of back pain, but the level of curvature may not be changed.


If the treatment through chiropractic adjustment proves advantageous in relieving symptoms, it is recommended to be continued but only when necessary.