5 Tips from a Chiropractic Clinic to Fight Off the Cold and Flu

1.  Fight Colds and Flu by Washing Your Hands


One of the best ways to stop the spread of cold and flu infections is to thoroughly wash your hands.  Viruses can live on surfaces up to 48 hours, so you could be infected by touching just about anything if you touch the infected hand to your mouth, eye, or nose.  Children who bite their nails, suck their thumb or put objects into their mouth are especially susceptible.   Take the time to wash your hands (and your child’s hands) before eating, after using the restroom or even before putting in your contacts.

2.  Care For Your Immune System by going to a Chiropractic Clinic


Your immune system is your primary defense against infection.  Your body has several strategies to ward off invaders such has physical barriers like mucous membranes and the juices produced by your digestive track and weapons such as a fever to wash your system of intruders.  These weapons are effective as long as they work correctly.  All too often, our bodies are not working at their optimal level.  This compromises our immune system and often leads to illness.

Your spine houses your nervous system which controls your immune system’s response.  Hundreds of years of observation have proven that chiropractic treatment improves immune function.  Doctors of Chiropractic utilize chiropractic treatments and physiotherapy to ensure that your spine and back are in alignment.  At a chiropractic clinic, these manual adjustments help reduce the physiological disturbances in your nervous system.  With a strong and healthy immune system, your body is equipped to fight off germs and viruses during cold and flu season.

3.  Take Supplemental Vitamin D3 with Vitamin K


During spring, summer and even autumn, we are outside more often working in the yard, swimming, playing at the park or just out for a walk.  These outside activities give our bodies a chance to soak up Vitamin D3 from the sun’s rays.  Research shows that Vitamin D3 (taken with Vitamin K to ensure its effectiveness) increases immune system function – helping us to fight off the viruses and bacteria that cause all sorts of colds and flu symptoms.  During the winter, add a dose of Vitamin D3 to your daily supplements.  To find the correct dosage, multiply your weight by 35.

4.  Stay Active: Use Exercise to Fight Colds and Flu


Just because it’s winter, it doesn’t mean you can’t be active.  If it just snowed, rent some snowshoes and try them out (even in your local park), go for a walk or take the kids sledding.  Find a local ice skating rink or YMCA.  Set a goal to try to get 30 minutes of exercise 3-4 times each week.

5.  Eat Well to Be Well: Fight off Colds and Flu Through Your Diet


Eating right is a big part of keeping your body and immune system functioning at its best.  During the winter months, add in a few more Vitamin C-rich foods like oranges and grapefruit (in season during the winter) and dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale.  You can even sprinkle on some sesame seeds or add in a red bell pepper to soups and pasta dishes.  Drink green tea instead of your morning joe and add in some yogurt or take a daily dose of probiotics which are natural bacterial that can help to ward off attackers.

The doctors at Crossroads Chiropractic Clinic, specialize in vertebral alignment and in boosting your immune system health.  Even after exposure to the cold or flu, chiropractic adjustments can help your immune system function at its highest level.  Contact our clinic at 320-252-3711 to schedule an appointment.


In The Bleak Mid-winter: 10 Tips for Safe Snow Shoveling

With winter now upon us, and snow covering many regions of the United States, millions of people are shoveling snow to clear their sidewalks and driveways. While most people recognize that snow shoveling is very hard work, and can put severe stress on your heart, fewer people recognize the stress and strain that it places on your back. So, as winter gets underway, we've outlined 10 tips for how to keep your back healthy when shoveling snow.

The Problem
Snow shoveling can place excessive stress on spinal structures. These stresses are a common cause of low back strains and vertebral disc damage

In a study published by Dr. Brad Coffiner, the author noted when handling heavy snow with a shovel, the L5/S1 disc (i.e. the low back) has been identified as the weakest link in the body segment chain. The most severe injuries and pain are likely to occur in this low back region."

Tips for Safe Snow Shoveling
Having recognized that snow shoveling can injure your back, now lets look at tips to help you avoid such problems.


  • Tip # 1.
    If you experience pain of any kind, stop immediately and seek assistance.
  • Tip # 2.
    Choose a snow shovel that is right for you!
    • Be sure that your shovel has a curved handle, as this enables you to keep your back straighter when shoveling.
    • Obtain a shovel with an appropriate length handle. The length is correct when you can slightly bend your knees, flex your back 10 degrees or less, and hold the shovel comfortably in your hands at the start of the "shoveling stroke".
    • A plastic shovel blade will generally be lighter than a metal one, thus putting less strain on your spine.
    • Sometimes, a smaller blade is better than a larger blade. Although a small blade can't shovel as much, it avoids the risk of trying to pick up a too heavy pile of snow with a larger blade.
  • Tip # 3.
    Push the snow, do not lift it. Pushing puts far less strain on the spine than lifting.
  • Tip # 4.
    Be sure your muscles are warm before you start shoveling. Cold, tight muscles are more likely to sprain or strain than warm, relaxed muscles.
  • Tip # 5.
    When you grip the shovel, make sure your hands are at least 12 inches apart. By creating distance between your hands, you increase your leverage and reduce the strain on your body.
  • Tip # 6.
    Your shoveling technique is very important. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends: "If you must lift the snow, lift it properly. Squat with your legs apart, knees bent and back straight. Lift with your legs. Do not bend at the waist. Scoop small amounts of snow into the shovel and walk to where you want to dump it. Holding a shovel of snow with your arms outstretched puts too much weight on your spine. Never remove deep snow all at once; do it piecemeal. Shovel and inch or two; then take another inch off. Rest and repeat if necessary." In addition to these comments, remember to move your feet rather than twisting.
  • Tip # 7.
    Never throw snow over your shoulder.
  • Tip # 8.
    Remember that wet snow can be very heavy. One full shovel load can weigh as much as 25 pounds.
  • Tip # 9.
    Pace yourself by taking frequent breaks to gently stretch your back, arms and legs.
  • Tip #10.
    Consider buying a snow-blower. When used correctly, a snow-blower will put far less strain on your back than snow shoveling.

By following these tips, you are far less likely to be injured while shoveling snow.

Finally, for those of us who are able bodied, it is always worth remembering neighbors on your block who might not be able to remove the snow from their sidewalks. A few minutes of help can make the world of difference to the well being of a less able bodied person as well as make you a good neighbor!

Article from the Colorado Spine Institue :


Beware of “TEXT NECK” From Too Much Gadget Use

First, too much texting caused some people to come down with painful Blackberry Thumb. Now today’s technology is being blamed for another malady: text neck.

Doctors and chiropractors say people hunched over their mobile gadgets are developing neck strain, headaches and pain in the shoulders and, sometimes, in arms and hands. What’s more, all that curving of the body to text, type, watch videos and play games could cause debilitating pain that lasts a lifetime, they warn.

“This is a global epidemic,” says Dean L. Fishman, a chiropractor who practices at the Text Neck Institute in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He trademarked Text Neck and changed the name of his practice after noticing 90 percent of his patients coming in with the same complaint. His youngest patient is a 3-year-old, who’s in love with playing games on an electronic device.

“It’s starting younger and younger. There are more than six billion phones connected, and that’s not counting the Kindles, iPads, tablets and all these devices we rely on daily,” Fishman says. “Go outside, to a restaurant, the supermarket, a gym, the airport and notice the posture of almost everyone around you. You will see this everywhere, and now multiply that by every city in the world.”

American sent 110 billion text messages in December 2008, the U.S. Census Bureau reported, and that number can only be increasing.

Fishman says text neck is actually not a new condition, but it’s getting more attention because so many people are suffering from it. Doctors used to call it forward head posture, but Fishman noticed his patients better understood what he was talking about when he used the term text neck.

Richard Wells, professor of applied sciences at the University of Waterloo, in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, wondered about the effects of technology on our bodies and conducted what is believed to be the world’s first research study on text neck.

He found that among 140 students who participated in an online survey, twice as many experienced pain in their shoulders, neck and other areas when they used their devices three hours or more a day compared to those who used their devices for less time. The study was published in the January 2011 edition in the Journal of Applied Ergonomics.

“We learned the longer people use mobile devices, cell phones, PDAs — all the things we use to communicate with that have little keyboards — the more they have pain in their necks, shoulders and thumbs,” he says.

Texas chiropractor Cynthia Vaughn and spokesperson for the American Chiropractic Association says text neck is affecting tens of thousands of people here in the United States because nearly everyone has a cell phone. “It’s a known phenomenon and that’s increasing and doctors need to educate their patients on the proper ergonomics of this.”

Preventing text neck
Learning to hold your arms out and look straight ahead may initially seem awkward, but it can save your neck and spine, she says. Taking frequent breaks every 15 minutes and holding your head back also helps alleviate symptoms. The American Chiropractic Association also warns people to tuck their chins down to their chest, if you must look down rather than holding your arms out. Stretch your hands; squeeze a stress ball and stretch your chest by standing up straight with arms down at your side. Turn your forearms until your thumbs are pointing at the wall behind you.

“I tell my patients the easiest thing to do is pick up the phone and call people,” Vaughn says. “Phones still call out. If you’re not going to call people, take the time to drop your head back every few minutes.”

For those who already have neck and shoulder pain, Fishman says his patients have found relief by coming in for adjustments. Chiropractors and orthopedic specialists most often treat the issue.

Fishman also created a new Android app, called Text Neck, which gives users a green light when they are properly holding their phones and a red light when they are holding their heads down and rounding their shoulders. The application also can send reports to parents who can monitor their children’s posture while using their phones.

“We teach our patients to pull the shoulder blades back and down,” he says. “In our research, we found the people who made the most improvement in the restoration in the curve of their neck came from people who made the biggest change and stopped hanging down low.”

By Kimberly Hayes Taylor contributor

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