Monday, February 20, 2017

Insurance info for 2017

At Young Chiropractic insurance is a big part of what goes on in the office everyday.  For most of you, the new year brings a new deductible and possibly a new co-pay.

In the state of Missouri, under most insurance plans, you are entitled to 26 visits of chiropractic care per year.  There are always exceptions to this rule.  Some plans may need a referral from your Primary Care Physician (PCP).  If so, please call your PCP prior to your visit.  You can have them fax your referral to the office (314-781-4241).

To take care of you, your spine and your health, we would be happy to look to see what your insurance benefits are for 2017.  You may either contact the insurance company yourself, call the office or fax a copy of your card to the office if you are unsure of your benefits.

If you have a marketplace plan, please check to see if I am a provider in your network.

Our goal is to make your health a priority!

Yours in Good Health!!!! Dr. Nancy

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Smoking and the Spine

Here I am 9 years smoke free as of December.  I grew up in a generation whose parents smoked.  We smoked.  It was the Kool thing to do. Little did my parents or I know that the long term effects of being Kool would deteriorate our bodies and most importantly our health and well-being.

We all have seen reports on how detrimental smoking is to our lungs, eyes, organs and every part of our bodies.  What I want my patients and those that read this blog to know is how Smoking effects your Spine.

Back pain is associated with a decrease in the quality of life.  It can change your outlook, your job and your relationships. After all these articles and journals about the degenerative effects of smoking, the one thing that became very clear is that the arthritic changes that naturally occur in all of us, are increased in smokers.  According to the North American Spine Society, Nicotine restricts the flow of nutrients and oxygen rich blood to the discs that cushion the vertebrae, thereby, increasing degeneration of the spine and discs.  Nicotine impairs and changes the way oxygen is delivered to the tissues.  All tissue function has dependency on oxygen.  Smoking also reduces the calcium absorption and prevents new bone growth. This can increase the risk of an osteoporotic fracture, a very painful occurrence.  Nicotine retards fracture and wound healing by decreasing the amount of oxygen to the wound and thereby impairing the collagen production that is essential in all types of healing.

Research has shown that people who smoke have a higher prevalence of back pain.  Some studies show that nicotine is like a pain killer and decreases the amount of pain that is felt. The University of Rochester medical school cites that nicotine interacts with certain proteins that play a key role in your central and peripheral nervous system that control anxiety and pain.  Prolonged exposure to cigarettes changes the way these cells function and eventually the way the body processes pain.  It was found in a few studies that smokers with back pain tend to have more intense pain and more long term disability over time.

Not only does smoking effect every organ system in the body but the effect on the core structure, our spine, limits the amount of activity we are able to achieve in order to help our physical and mental structure for a healthier life.

If you or someone close to you is still smoking it’s time to quit.  Auriculotherapy has been shown to help in the cravings as you are on your way to giving up the cigarettes for Good.  Please call the office to schedule an appointment.  It is worth your health.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Time to Pull Your Weeds and Not Your Back!

It is finally here.  After our wonderful St. Louis hibernation, we are with much pleasure, able to get in our gardens and yards.  As expressed by almost every patient, it feels great to put fingers in the dirt and pamper our outside.  

One thing we all must be mindful of is that we did hibernate quite a bit this year.  And, as we start to work in our yards and gardens, we all have to remember a few simple rules to avoid injury.

1.Stretch!  Warm up with Light stretches for your back, neck and arms.  Even take a brisk walk to loosen your muscles.

2. Know your limitations and your strengths.  Do Not Overexert.  We all want it to look beautiful in one day but realistically that is what causes the pain and injuries.  Vary the tasks when you work outside. 

3. Avoid bending straight over.  Get closer to whatever it is you are doing whether it be weeding or planting.  Kneel or sit on the ground to avoid problems.

4. Lift dirt and plants by letting your arms, legs and thighs carry the load. Bend and straighten at the knees instead of the back and hips.  Lift the load close to your body and your center of gravity.  The key is to make a few extra trips and distribute the loads.

5. Use long handled tools to give you leverage. 

6. When using a ladder make sure you are facing it.  Whatever the task, make sure it is directly in front of you to avoid the leaning and reaching.  Not only can this cause back injuries but can increase the risk of falls.

7. Take frequent breaks!!!!  Walk around the yard to give yourself a break.

8. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes.  Remember protecting your feet with support helps to protect your back.

9. Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated.

10. Be aware of your body technique, form and posture while working outside. It can be the repetitive motion of bending, lifting and reaching that causes the injury to the muscles of winter.

Gardening and yard work can be one of the great pleasures of summer.  Take your time.  Vary your task. And most importantly, if your pain persists, call the office for an appointment.


Monday, March 3, 2014

Couch Potato to Yard Work After this Fun St. Louis Winter

This winter has impacted all of us in many ways as we hunkered down to avoid the cold.  We nested, we ate and we avoided exercise because it was just too cold.  Granted, there are a few devoted souls out there that weathered the elements to workout but the majority of us enjoyed the nesting.  

It is time before we begin the yard work, sports and summer activities to get our bodies back in shape and our minds in a “fit” direction.

So how to achieve the goals of a healthy mind and a healthy body……..

If it has been a considerable amount of time since you extricated your buttocks from the couch you might want to start slow before you spend money on exercise equipment or a gym membership.  Begin by getting off the couch and walking.  Remember you actually know how to do this!  Start by setting your goals to four days a week for 30 minutes at a time.  If you can’t do 30 minutes, do 15.  If you are unable to do 15 minutes without becoming winded, you need to see your medical doctor for evaluation.  

When you start a walking program, do not push yourself, walk briskly without getting too winded.  What is most important is just moving.  Don’t worry about how far or how fast you are going, just get started moving your body. If you push yourself too much you may injure yourself which defeats the whole purpose and puts you back on the couch and in my office.

Start by walking on Monday.  If you start your week off right, the rest of it tends to fall in line.  Try your best to at least go every other day.  When you skip too many days in a row, you tend to lose the momentum.  Remember putting your feet outside your door wither to walk or to the gym is the toughest part of the process.

We are a society that tends to sit on our buttocks for most of the day.  That allows our “metabolic engines” to sit at a very low idle.  So exercise gives you Energy! It gets your “engine” running.  Exercise also keeps you SANE!!  It is motivating to know that with exercise you can feel calmer, happier and energized.  The long-term benefits are for your heart, strengthening your immune system, increasing your capacity to enjoy the things you love to do, and most important increasing your circulation.  It has been shown that by increasing your circulation with aerobic exercise we can increase the blood flow to the brain and thus increase and maintain our memory.

The goal is to move.  Just start and keep working your way into more.  Your mind, body and heart will thank-you.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Taking Care During the Holidays

It is that time again.  The never ending list of things to do, the baking, the shopping, the pleasing of those you love and never enough time to get everything in.  All of this can result in stress.  Lots of stress! Stress can manifest as neck pain, headaches, lower back pain, increased irritability, and decreased immunity.  All of which can take its toll not only on your body but your mind.
In order to help yourself and those you love, try a few things to help decrease the chaos.

1. Make a realistic list of things you need to accomplish.  Put the list together so the things that are essential to your well-being and those around you are at the top of the list.

2. Keep a calendar for all your projects and events this time of year.  Once you can put things in perspective they do not seem so overwhelming. 

3. Exercise if you can.  Even if it seems like everything else takes priority, remember that if you take a few minutes out of your day to take care of yourself, it is easier to accomplish whatever else is required of you.

4. Try to eat the foods that will not kick you mentally the next day.  Before going to a party, try to eat a little bit so the hunger bug does not take over your mind when you get to the party.  A good rule of thumb is to look for the foods that contain more water.  The more dense the food usually the higher in calories.  Try to think about what will really satisfy your “eye”, your mind and your belly!

5. Nurture yourself with acupuncture, massage or keeping yourself in alignment with chiropractic care.  The body reacts to stress in many ways.  I always say that we put our stress back into our bodies in many different forms.  I believe we all have a weak point in our physical body that can play havoc with our center.  When your spine is aligned, it is easier to think clearer and to physically be able to accomplish what is on that list!

Take care of yourself.  Surround yourself with the Ones you love! And, Enjoy the Holidays.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Shoes of Summer

As many of you know, I usually look at your shoes when you come in. As the summer finally comes to us the footwear of choice seems to be flip flops. They can be just fine for short spurts of time but as your everyday summer shoe they can cause problems for a long time to come.

Thinking about shoes when I was talking to a patient the other day made me reflect back to chiropractic school. The analogy that was always used was one of the foundation of a house is the same as our bodies. If the base/basement is off so is everything above it so that eventually it will result in disrepair, whether it is your house or your body.

Flip flops when worn for long periods of time have a biomechanical effect on everything from your foot/ankle to your hip and lower back. And as Logan stated, if your low back is off so is the rest of your spine. Your center of gravity changes and your body adapts and you alter the way that you walk.

A normal gait consists of heel strike, foot flat loading, mid stance, heel rise, toe off and swing phase. When you wear flip flops you are grabbing the thong with your toes and changing your gait so as the pressure is mainly placed on the mid-foot. Your gait is changed in that you take shorter steps because you can't lift your leg up as far as in a normal step with a standard shoe. This is the reason you see so many people in flip flops doing a sort of "shuffle".

The negative effects of wearing flip flops for long periods of time:
-They don't absorb the shock when you walk.
-There is a lack of support.
-They do not hold the foot so you use the tendons and muscles to hold the shoe on. This increases the stress up the leg.
-Those that are diabetic may have a decrease in circulation and a decrease of feeling in their feet and legs. Wearing flip flops exposes those with diabetes to a greater risk of injury and infection.
-Those who pack on the extra pounds are increasing the stress on the feet and ankles that are already overstressed due to the extra weight.

There is a positive side to wearing flip flops in the locker room to help protect against fungus and wart causing viruses. It is also okay to wear them at the pool, the beach and for short periods of time. The main thing is just don't "overwear" them!

As Dr. Andrew Weil states "Our feet are our connection to the earth". Wear good shoes, think about your body and your joints. Your body is your physical house so keep it healthy and centered.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Creating a Healthy & Ergonomically Correct Workspace

For many of my patients the workday is in front of a monitor and at a keyboard. It is important to look at your workspace to make sure it is working for you and not against you.  The amount of stress and pressure from an incorrect work environment can only lead to problems down the road. Please take a moment and look to see what you can do to help yourself.
Dr. Nancy

Creating a Healthy & Ergonomically Correct Workspace
1. Adjust your chair height so that your feet are placed flat on the floor. If your chair or desk does not allow you to make the adjustment, place a footrest on the floor and then adjust your seat height. Your hips should be on the same level as your knees. Optimum incline in your seat is between 100 and 110 degrees.
2. Allow your elbows to form a 90-degree angle with your hands on your keyboard. Your forearms should be parallel to the ground and your wrists in a neutral position (in alignment with your arms). Your keyboard should be directly in front of you. Ergonomic split keyboards are beneficial for proper wrist alignment.

3. Do not rest your wrists on the mouse. An increase in the angle puts an extra strain on the wrist. Do not wear a watch while working the keyboard. It can restrict the tendons in your arm. A mouse pad can help support your wrist by keeping it in a neutral position.

4. Place your monitor at direct eye level about 20 inches away or your arms length. The larger your screen, the further away. The screen should be slightly tilted back at 10 to 20 degrees. If you wear bifocals, lower your monitor below eye level and turn the screen upward , tilting it back 30 to 40 degrees.

5. Your work area should be in a V from your body. So that any activity that you do with repetition is not putting a strain on your back, neck or shoulders.

6. Armrests are great to help you get in and out of your chair. Do not rest your arms on the armrests while mousing or typing. This can compress the tendons and may also compress the nerve (ulnar) that goes down the back of your arm.

7. Try to move around every 20 minutes or so. Even get up and walk around your desk. It changes the circulation gives you and your muscles a break.