Chiropractor Gets Sidney Crosby Back in the Game

Here’s a great article about chiropractor Ted Carrick’s success in getting the hockey star back on the ice in excellent form, much faster than other doctors thought possible.

Innovator helps Crosby get his head together.

How much can be attributed to Carrick’s curative ways? No one, not even Crosby, can know with certainty. But he is back – good news for all hockey – and the phenom believes he got his playing life back with Carrick at Life U.

It’s great to see chiropractors of any type getting good press. Dr. Carrick certainly deserves the recognition. Many in the chiropractic profession have not embraced his “controversial” methods, but his adherence of science and his pursuit of clinical excellence are admirable!

Age & Balance – One Going Up Shouldn’t Mean the Other Goes Down

A number of important factors affect our sense of balance as we grow older.

“As we age, our sight, hearing, muscle strength, coordination and reflexes change, weakening our balance. Also, some health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and circulation problems, affect balance. Even some medications have been known to make people dizzy.
“Unfortunately, all of these factors make falls more likely. One of every three persons aged 65 years and older falls each year. But take heart, you do not have to be one of them! You can take simple steps to improve your balance and reduce your risk of falling.”

-AARP Website (American Association of Retired People)

Drugs & Dizziness

* If you are on medication(s) that make you dizzy, talk to your doctor so that he or she can review your situation and perhaps adjust your dosage or prescriptions.

* A fall, and the consequences of that fall, should be considered and weighed carefully when considering the possible side-effects of medication you are taking.

* All decisions about medications you might be taking should only be made after consulting your doctor.

Practice Preventing Dizziness

* Get up from sitting, or from bed, slowly. Take your time.

* When walking, look forward – NOT at your feet. If you are unsteady, hold onto something.

* Ask your doctor if any medicine you are on can cause dizziness.

* Dizziness is not light-headedness is not vertigo.

Is the Problem My Eyes, My Inner Ears, or My Joints?

* If closing your eyes causes you to lose your balance, then your inner ears might be a problem. They pick up the slack when your eyes take some time off.

* If you experience dizziness while still, your inner ear is probably the problem.

* If you have dizziness when you move or sit up then you might have an inner ear problem or a circulation problem.

* Tingling or numbness in your arms or legs can be a result of diabetes or other medical conditions which interfere with your body’s ability to recognize the position of your bones and joints. Some medications also can cause tingling.

* If you feel weak or clumsy or have joint pain, the problem might be in your joints and the ability of those joints and your brain to properly communicate with each other about position.

Research has shown that poor vision in one eye alone is almost as good a predictor of falls due to vision problems as is poor vision in two eyes, and this is because the depth perception that two good eyes affords us is compromised when only one eye is adequately functioning. When that occurs, we cannot accurately gauge the distance between two objects. Go ahead and cover your right eye right now and look around at some different things in the room with your left eye only, and then after about 5 or 10 seconds of that try the same thing with your left eye covered and your right eye doing the work. Sure, the eyes might take a second or two to adapt after being covered, but they should both function equally. If they don’t, you are at risk for a fall due to lack of optimal depth perception.

Vertigo is the sensation of movement when there is not any actual movement. Vertigo is vestibular. That means it is associated with a problem in your inner ear. Vertigo can be egocentric or geocentric. With egocentric the world appears to be spinning around you (like being drunk), with geocentric you feel as if you are spinning while the world according to your vision appears normal.

A note about that feeling of lightheadedness or dizziness you sometimes get when you stand up:
Orthostatic hypotension is a sharp decrease in blood pressure due to the effect of gravity on the blood when your rise. Your body cannot adapt quickly enough, and you experience a light-headedness as the blood pools in your lower body and you have a shortage of blood in the brain. This can cause fainting. Your venous leg pump can be assisted by performing isotonic leg contractions while sitting or standing. So, when you are waiting on line make your leg muscles tighten without bending your knees. That’s an exercise for the veins in your legs.

In order to avoid a fall you need to focus on maintaining a healthy nervous system and maintaining an active lifestyle as safely as you can. At Park Bench Chiropractic we focus on helping our patients maintain healthy nervous systems and active lifestyles. Call us at (301) 378-0334 or stop by today.

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Dr. Romano is a board certified and licensed chiropractor in Maryland. He practices in Frederick, Md at 1780 North Market Street. He has worked with the older population in practice as a chiropractor as well as at numerous nursing homes and facilities. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Doctorate in Chiropractic. Dr. Romano and Dr. Schooley are also available to speak to groups, including seniors, about fall prevention and recovery and the importance of a healthy nervous system.

Exercises for Balance

These exercises for balance are great for seniors, or for anyone who would like to have better balance.

* When sitting or in bed, move your eyes up & down, left & right, and diagonally. Then bring your finger near to your nose and back away from your nose, maintaining focus on your fingertip the entire time.

* Also when sitting or in bed, slowly turn your head left & right, up & down, and in circles. If that’s easy, try it faster, or with your eyes closed.

* Next try those exercises while standing, in a doorway for support.

* Practice getting up out of a chair, slowly at first.

* Practice standing on one foot for up to 30 seconds. Already good at that? Try it with your eyes closed.

* If you can already walk without loss of balance or difficulty, try carefully walking an invisible tightrope, heel to toe, but make sure you have something to hold onto if you lose balance. Already good at that? Try it backwards.

* Dance with a partner. Make sure you BOTH don’t fall, though!

In order to avoid a fall you need to focus on maintaining a healthy nervous system and maintaining an active lifestyle as safely as you can. At Park Bench Chiropractic we focus on helping our patients maintain healthy nervous systems. Call us at (301) 378-0334 or stop by today.

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Dr. Romano is a board certified and licensed chiropractor in Maryland. He practices in Frederick, Md at 1780 North Market Street. He has worked with the older population in practice as a chiropractor as well as at numerous nursing homes and facilities. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Doctorate in Chiropractic. Dr. Romano and Dr. Schooley are also available to speak to groups, including seniors, about fall prevention and recovery and the importance of a healthy nervous system.

See Also: Preventing Falls with a Healthy Nervous System, When Seniors Fall: The Science, The Hidden Injury After a Fall: Fear, and Falls and the Elderly: Some Facts.

Preventing Falls with a Healthy Nervous System

We are going to discuss your nervous system. Your central nervous system consists of your brain and spinal cord and all your nerves. Most of what the nervous system involves itself with is below the level of consciousness, and while we all might do a lot of thinking every day that is still a very tiny percentage of what the nervous system is busy doing. Your nervous system directs the digestion of your food, the sweat glands in your feet and everywhere else, the activity of your thyroid, and the tone of your muscles – and almost everything else. The list of things your nervous system controls and coordinates can go on and on.

Reflexes do not require your brain, only your spinal cord. They happen outside of conscious control and awareness. When a doctor taps your knee with a rubber hammer, you don’t need to tell your leg to kick. When you throw a cat in the air (not recommended) it will land on its feet because of reflexes that allow the cat to right itself.

Your posture, the way you sit and stand, is a result of a combination of postural reflexes which your brain uses to keep your eyes level with the horizon and your body from falling over. All this is also occurring outside of your conscious mind and is only under your control when you focus on it. Sometimes when your body develops weakness in one area, your postural reflexes will alter your posture to keep you more-or-less upright, although your compensated posture will be less healthy and will probably cause your body to develop other weaknesses down the road, making you more prone to falling down and getting arthritis.

Balance

Balance is an Interaction Between Three Senses

* Eyes – maintaining a steady gaze on the important stuff

* Inner ears – senses when the body isn’t level

* Sense of body position – via sensors in joints and muscles

* A healthy nervous system puts all that information together instantaneously to maintain balance, proper posture, and to prevent falls. When you have a less-than-healthy nervous system the 3 key components of balance do not function correctly, and dizziness and a lack of sure footing is the result.

The Nervous System Controls Body Movement

* The brain controls the movement of your arms, legs, and trunk (and your entire body) so that you can move smoothly  and with precision.

* Being able to put your foot where you want it to go while walking, climbing stairs, or getting out of the tub is all a result of a healthy brain.

* Dizziness, vision problems, and an out-of-balance brain can all lead to falls, injuries, activity avoidance, and even depression.

* Being able to have improved control over your balance and your body will help you avoid falls in the first place.

In order to avoid a fall you need to focus on maintaining a healthy nervous system and maintaining an active lifestyle as much as you safely can.  At Park Bench Chiropractic we focus on helping our patients maintain healthy nervous systems. Call us at (301) 378-0334 or stop by today.

§

Dr. Romano is a board certified and licensed chiropractor in Maryland. He practices in Frederick, Md at 1780 North Market Street. He has worked with the older population in practice as a chiropractor as well as at numerous nursing homes and facilities. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Doctorate in Chiropractic. Dr. Romano and Dr. Schooley are also available to speak to groups, including seniors, about fall prevention and recovery and the importance of a healthy nervous system.

See Also: The Hidden Injury After a Fall: Fear, When Seniors Fall: The Science, and Falls and the Elderly: Some Facts.

When Seniors Fall: The Science

We are going to go over some science (don’t worry, it won’t get too complicated). Specifically, we are going to talk about bones getting stronger and weaker, and why that happens.

* Wolff’s Law states that bone in a healthy person will adapt to the loads it is placed under. If loading on a particular bone increases, the bone will remodel and add minerals to itself over time to become stronger to resist that same sort of loading in the future. The opposite is true as well: decreased load on that bone will cause a bone to weaken and shed mineral over time. The body takes back the minerals in those bones that aren’t needed and uses them elsewhere – or gets rid of them by excreting the minerals.

Here are some real-world examples of how this plays out:

* Tennis Players – In avid tennis players the racquet-holding arm bones become stronger. The tennis player will have more calcium and stronger bones in their dominant playing hand. This is the body’s natural response to increased demand being placed on that limb. Calcium from the diet is put into the bones to reinforce the arm and shoulder bones.

* Astronauts – After returning from space astronauts will have weaker bones because there has been no gravity weighing on the person’s frame. When they get back to Earth they will need to exercise in order to re-strengthen the bones to avoid fractures.

This means, simply put, that it is important to remain active. The body literally thrives on movement – fluids move, the brain is stimulated, bones are strengthened, and the muscles are exercised. In the simplest terms, the more you place burdens on your body, the more your body will work to adapt to that by strengthening itself where strength is needed.

That old saying, “If you don’t use it, you lose it”, is very true.

Now, as any senior knows, as you get older there is a process in the body in which many men and especially women lose bone mineral density and develop something called osteopenia and then osteoporosis. Doctors will recommend supplementing your diet with additional calcium and Vitamin D, and that is a good start.

Diet: Calcium & Vitamin D

If you are going to fall, of course you want to make sure your bones don’t break. A proper diet can help you have strong bones. Be aware that some medical conditions or medications can interfere with your body’s ability to take in calcium and other vitamins and minerals.

A combination of calcium and Vitamin D can reduce the risk of osteoporosis. The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) recommends:

“Adults under age 50 should have 1,000 mg of calcium and 400 – 800 IU of vitamin D daily. Adults age 50 and older should have 1,200 mg of calcium and 800 – 1,000 IU of vitamin D daily.”

-National Osteoporosis Foundation

That is a 20% increase in calcium and a 25-100% increase in Vitamin D in your diet compared to the recommendations for younger people!

Some dietary sources of calcium:

* Milk, yogurt, and other dairy products

* Dark green vegetables such as collard greens, kale, and broccoli

* Sardines and salmon with bones

* Calcium-fortified foods and beverages such as cereals, orange juice, or soymilk

Certain types of foods can interfere with calcium absorption. These include foods high in oxalate (such as spinach and beet greens) or phytate (peas, pinto beans, navy beans, wheat bran). Diets high in animal protein, sodium, or caffeine may also interfere with calcium absorption.

Some dietary sources of Vitamin D:

* Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna

* Egg yolks

* Liver

* Vitamin D-fortified milk, orange juice, soymilk, or cereals

Exposure to sunlight stimulates the skin to produce Vitamin D, meaning that many people can get a fair amount of Vitamin D just from spending ½ hour outside in the sun.

In order to avoid a fall you need to focus on maintaining a healthy nervous system, getting the proper nutrients in your diet, and maintaining an active lifestyle as much as you can.  At Park Bench Chiropractic we focus on helping our patients maintain healthy nervous systems. Call us at (301) 378-0334 or stop by today.

§

Dr. Romano is a board certified and licensed chiropractor in Maryland. He practices in Frederick, Md at 1780 North Market Street. He has worked with the older population in practice as a chiropractor as well as at numerous nursing homes and facilities. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Doctorate in Chiropractic. Dr. Romano and Dr. Schooley are also available to speak to groups, including seniors, about fall prevention and recovery and the importance of a healthy nervous system.

See Also: Preventing Falls with a Healthy Nervous System, The Hidden Injury After a Fall: Fear, and Falls and the Elderly: Some Facts.