Taking your first few trips to the chiropractor can be intimidating. It helps to have an idea of what to expect, before you step into the office. Your first visit to the Chiropractor will be a health assessment or consultation. Your practitioner will likely provide treatment once the assessment is complete.

During the assessment, your Chiropractor will acquire basic health information from you, such as blood pressure, height, weight, and any information about your health history or medical conditions. During this time, he or she will determine the nature, history, and scope of your complaints. This is a good time to talk to your practitioner about when your discomfort started, or why you decided to visit a Chiropractor.

The practitioner will also perform a thorough examination, including a Range of Motion (ROM) assessment, orthopedic assessment, neurological tests, soft tissue and spinal alignment. These objective measures of your spine, joints, nerves and muscles will be used to better assess your condition and help determine the cause of your symptoms. If necessary, x-rays will be taken.

During your visit, your chiropractor will discuss with you an action plan for treatment, and will likely set goals and discuss the process for healing your ailments. Sticking to this treatment plan is vital to a speedy recovery - missing too many treatments can set further back.

Once you've been thoroughly evaluated, you will receive chiropractic treatment, massage and other appropriate therapy. It's important to remember that Chiropractic is not a miracle cure, and you may continue to experience some discomfort after your initial visit.

Alternative medicine, as used in the modern western world, is any treatment program that is not considered conventional medicine. Some examples of this include Chiropractic, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture, Homeopathy, and Ayurveda.

These types of treatments are called complimentary when they are used in conjunction with a conventional approach. Using Chiropractic care while taking pain medications prescribed by your doctor means that you are using complimentary medicine. This is a very common tactic with chiropractic, especially after an auto accident or other injury.

Chiropractic is a unique form of complementary and alternative medicine - or CAM. It is the most widely accepted method of alternative treatment, and may surprise many patients to learn that it is still considered an alternative medicine. Chiropractic is also more regulated than most other forms of alternative treatments, and each state has a rigorous education and licensure process. Chiropractic medicine is the most widely prescribed and used CAM in the United States.  Chiropractic is even covered by an increasing number of health insurance policies, including state medicaid programs.

The claims made by alternative medicine practices are slow to be accepted by the medical community because of the sensitivity to human health. As evidence-based assessment of safety and efficacy becomes more available, many of these practices continue to become more incorporated into the medical mainstream. There is a plethora of information regarding alternative treatments. Look into all your options and see what the facts have to say. 

A Favorite in the summertime, these breezy shoes pose many risks to your short term and long term health when worn more than occasionally, or for longer walks. Vegging out on the beach in your favorite flip flops is one thing - going for trail walks is another.  
The reason? Flip Flops provide little or no support to the ankle and only minimal shock absorption during weight-bearing activity. What this means to your joints is increased wear and tear in the joint surfaces of the ankle, knee, and spine.  You also tend to alter the way you walk, which triggers a domino effect of physiological issues, starting with the feet, the ankles, and on up through the lower back and hips. Many people report swelling or discomfort in the knees and ankles after long periods of time in flip flops.

However, pinched nerves, maladjustment of the spine, and tendinitis are just the beginning of the potential for problems. Injuries are also increased with wearing these tread-less shoes. While flopping around on our feet and offering no protection against slips, it's easy to slip, twist and ankle, or worse, get your foot stuck under a gas or brake pedal and have a car accident.

Your best bet? Save the flip flops for lazing around the pool, beach or shower rooms, and wear fitted shoes and sandals for everything else. Your shoes should support your arches, feel comfortable and fit the entire foot without "flopping" off. 

Much attention is often paid to the healthful benefits of nutrition and the heart and cardiovascular system, but seldom is advice seen for how to eat for healthy joints. Here are a few nutritional elements that are vital for keeping your joints and cartilage in tip-top shape.

  • Manganese is a major player in building cartilage in the body by boosting the glucosamine in the body - which maintains healthy cartilage, and thus, joints. Some great sources for Manganese: Whole Grains, Beans, Seafood, Dark leafy Greens, Milk, and Nuts. 
  • When included in your diet, Omega 3s give your body anti-inflammatory support and improve blood flow and mental health. Omega 3s provide the joints with the support they need to stay functioning properly. Some natural sources include: Flax seeds, Walnuts, Cod Liver Oil, Egg Yolk, and certain types of fish, such as Salmon, Cod, Trout, and Sardines. 
  • Vitamins C & E are an antioxidant rich duo and support each other's function. While Vitamin C is the hero of healthy bones and joints with its ability to help the body form collagen, it can't perform at peak without its partner, Vitamin E.  Collagen is a protein that is found in your bones, tendons and cartilage. Citrus fruits, strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, tomatoes, broccoli, corn, nuts and oats are all great sources for this powerful duo.
Surprising as it may seem, it's easy to have a strong, healthy musculoskeletal system with a few easy additions to your diet. Try the fish recipe in the side column to get started. 

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Safety on the Job
Whether you work in the construction industry, in a retail store, or behind a desk, the workplace can be a dangerous place for you and your skeletal system.

Here are a few things to keep in mind to stay healthy and safe:
  • Lift with your knees. Keep your back straight, squat, and lift using the leg muscle to bear the weight as you come to standing position. 
  • Avoid leaning back excessively as you are carrying loads. If it is cumbersome, get help.
  • Take a break! Regardless of your job, sitting or standing for 8 hours can be brutal on the back, hips and knees. Go for a walk, sit down if you stand all day, and stand up if you sit all day. 
  • Report injuries and accidents immediately! Carpal Tunnel and similar long-term ailments should be reported as close to onset as possible, and start treatment right away to ensure workman's compensation coverage.

Feeling cooped up or achy? Time to Stretch!

Stretching increases the blood circulationto the achy muscles and provides relief.
By relaxing tight muscles, you help prevent injuries and misalignments caused by muscle tension. Here are a few great pointers to keep you limber:
  • Take breaks frequently to stretch, especially if you are doing repetitious things. 
  • Listen to your body. If it aches, stretch into the ache, and back the other direction. 
  • Try over all stretching sessions three times per day to keep your muscles fresh all day. 

Recipe for Salmon with Citrus Honey

Honey and citrus juices flavor these tasty salmon fillets, and  the combination of healthy omega 3s from the Salmon, and the glucosamine booster Vitamin C makes this dish a winner for your joints and cartilage. Great with Rice.


4 salmon fillets, about 6 ounces each, skin on
4 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons orange juice
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


 Preheat oven to 400° Grease a 9x13x2-inch baking pan. Place salmon, skin-side down, in the prepared baking pan. Combine the honey, lime juice, and orange juice, stirring until well blended. Sprinkle the fillets with salt and pepper then spoon the honey and juice mixture over the fillets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Sprinkle the fillets with salt and pepper then spoon the honey and juice mixture over the fillets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

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