Heat and Humidity
The Texas heat is in full effect. We have already had a few days where the temperature topped 100 degrees. We have also had some good rain storms, which have raised the humidity. During the summers, you may notice that there are some days that are so humid that you never quite dry off after your shower. It is important to understand the danger of such humid days.
Human bodies cool off by increasing blood circulation, by sweating, and by panting. The heart begins to pump more blood, blood vessels dilate to accommodate the increased flow, and the bundles of tiny capillaries threading through the upper layers of skin are put into operation. This is why your skin may look flushed when you are hot. The body's blood is circulated closer to the skin's surface, and excess heat radiates into the cooler atmosphere. At the same time, water is pushed through the skin as perspiration. The skin handles about 90 percent of the body's heat dissipating function.
Sweat has to evaporate in order to remove heat from the body. High relative humidity prevents or slows evaporation. When we get hot in a humid climate, we sweat, but the sweat does not evaporate fast enough to cool us. The body assumes that we need to sweat more, so we do. This can lead to rapid dehydration. We also lose important electrolytes with our sweat. These need to be replaced as much as the water does. When exercising in the heat, make sure you are properly hydrating and replacing lost electrolytes. There are specialized electrolyte drinks available in stores, or you can make your own with water, lemons or limes, and different salts (magnesium, potassium, sodium).
If you feel exhausted when you are out in the heat, find shade and a breeze to cool off for a bit. Cool water can help regulate your body temperature. Drink it, bath in it, or pour it on your head and neck (where we lose much of our heat).
DID YOU KNOW...
Pain Pills and Heart Attack
Short-term use of NSAIDs, including ibuprofen and naproxen (Aleve), is associated with increased risk of acute myocardial infarction (heart attack).
My patients have all heard me talk about how important it is to find the cause of your pain and inflammation so that we can help your body heal properly. One of my goals is to avoid the need for NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) medication. While they can be effective at reducing the symptoms of inflammation, they do not usually fix the problem that was causing the inflammation. Without addressing the root cause of your symptoms, the symptoms often return once the medication wears off.
In a study published in The British Medical Journal in April 2017, the conclusion of the study states that
“All NSAIDs, including naproxen, were found to be associated with an increased risk of acute myocardial infarction.”
Another interesting detail is that it is not even long-term use that is associated with the risk.
“Risk was greatest during the first month of NSAID use and with higher doses.”
While it is not clear whether the NSAIDs are actually causing the heart attacks, it is definitely in our best interest to resolve the complaints we have as naturally as possible so that we don't feel the need for pain meds. If we need relief from the inflammation while we are still in the healing process, There are many natural foods and nutrients that are highly effective at reducing inflammation. If you have questions about these options, be sure to ask at your next appointment.
More information: Risk of acute myocardial infarction with NSAIDs in real world use: bayesian meta-analysis of individual patient data, BMJ (2017).
Kids and grandparents are always welcome at Austin Kinesiology and Chiropractic. Entire families have been benefiting from chiropractic care for over a hundred years. Many of our patients view Dr. Bryson as their family doctor. The ages of our patients range from newborns to patients in their 90s. The type of adjustments used is specific to the type of patient. For some patients, the amount of pressure applied in the adjustment is the same as you would use to see how ripe a tomato is. For others, more force is used to overcome the effects chronic subluxations or the effects that stiff muscles have on the joints. It is always fun to see our younger patients come in happy to see Dr. Bryson. Maybe for some children it's because he is the the nice doctor that doesn't give the shots, but the ones that are old enough to talk sometimes comment that they just feel better after coming in for an adjustment. Parents often report dramatic improvement in their child's comfort level or behavior following adjustments.
Our young athletes benefit greatly from regular chiropractic care, especially during their various sports seasons. Old athletes like Dr. Bryson see huge benefits from getting adjusted regularly. Because most things in the universe move tend to break down over time, we need to do all we can as we age to avoid the effects of aging. Exercise and stretching, proper diet, and safe, effective chiropractic are part of remaining healthy as we age.
Our more seasoned patients also receive tremendous benefits from regular chiropractic care. Many report greater mobility, strength, and ability to do more of the things they enjoy when they are getting their adjustments. Some tell us about how much better they sleep. They love how they feel when they are able to chase after their grandchildren or golf with their friends. One of Dr. Bryson's first patients came to see him because she was not able to wash dishes. This was a big problem because that was one of her favorite past times. After a few adjustments and some exercises she could continue at home, she was back to washing dishes without any difficulty. She declined Dr. Bryson's offer to let her come to his house and do his dishes.
Regardless of your age, there are always benefits to getting checked by your chiropractor.
Back-to-School Backpack Safety
It is that time of year again. The kids are heading back to school with backpacks full of books, supplies, and lunch. The following video from the American Chiropractic Association has some good tips to keep the backpack from causing injury to the kids' growing bodies:
Car Accidents Sports Injuries Sciatica Rotator Cuff Carpal Tunnel Headaches Muscle Testing Nutrition Scoliosis TMJ Fibromyalgia
Morning stiffness is one of the common symptoms among people suffering from arthritis, fibromyalgia, rheumatism. It can also result from lack of sleep, lack of exercise, obesity, poor diet, and living in a cold, damp environment.
Sleep is when our bodies recuperate from the previous day’s activities. We need to rest and rejuvenate. We have a cycle during sleep that involves producing different hormones that affect the quality of sleep and when we feel sleepy. One of those hormones is cortisol. It is a steroid hormone that helps to reduce inflammation. Not having a regular sleep schedule gets these hormones out of balance and can affect the way we feels, the quality of sleep we get, and even lead to obesity. Other negative influences on our sleep include watching television or using electronic devices before bed, sleeping with the television on, and just plain worrying about things. Try to manage stress and be done with it long before bed time.
Obesity involves carrying around excess weight all day, which strains your joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles. It can also interfere with sleep by causing snoring, apnea, and other issues. If you could stand to lose a few pounds, put together a plan and set goals to accomplish the weight loss.
A cold, damp environment can stiffen muscles. That is why many senior citizens move to hot, dry places like Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Palm Springs. When you are cold, the muscles generate heat by contracting. This happens even while sleeping. If the muscles remain tense for very long, they become stiff and get used to being like that. The cold also causes vasoconstriction. This is blood vessels shrinking and reducing blood flow to the various parts of the body, especially the arms and legs. Dress appropriately for the cold, whether at the office, outdoors, at home, or sleeping. Seal up any sources of drafts in your home or office. A hot shower or bath can help warm up the body and loosen the muscles.
Exercise conditions the muscles to behave a certain way. Stretching exercises, naturally, will help to reduce stiffness. They lengthen the muscles and help them to relax more. Using the muscles throughout their full range of motion keeps them from stiffening up during exercise. For example, fully extend the elbows when doing biceps curls, instead of only going down part way. Remember that strenuous exercise has the tendency to stiffen the muscles, so pay attention to your body while working out. Exercise also reduces emotional stress and this benefits us physically. Regular exercise also helps us to get better sleep.
Diet is a big factor in quality of sleep and, therefore, can have a tremendous effect on everything that sleep affects. Eating too many sugars and carbohydrates disrupts the sleep cycle and affects cortisol levels. Dessert before bed elevates blood sugar levels, which then crash during sleep and interrupt sleep. Eating too late before bed can have a similar effect. Dinner should be hours before bed and include lots of good proteins and fats, and fewer carbs. Indigestion and heart burn will also affect your ability to sleep and rejuvenate through the night. Sleeping posture is a factor as well. For example, sleeping on your stomach puts more strain on the spine and the resulting discomfort may disrupt your sleep, making you more tired and stiff in the morning.