What is this Red Light Therapy that people are talking about?
Published February 24, 2021
In the 1990s, RLT was used by scientists to help grow plants in space. They discovered the intense red light-emitting diodes promoted growth & photosynthesis of plant cells.
Red light is thought to work by producing a biochemical effect in cells that strengthens mitochondria. Mitochondria are our cell powerplants; it’s where the cell’s energy is created. By increasing mitochondria function, cells can make more energy (ATP). With more energy, cells can function more efficiently, rejuvenate themselves, & repair damage.
There’s promising RLT evidence, there’s still a lot to learn. Many studies show encouraging results, but red light therapy is still controversial. That being said, there’s evidence to suggest that RLT may have musculoskeletal benefits for tissue repair, joint health, pain & inflammation relief & other conditions.
Bottom line? RLT isn’t a treatment that we recommend. It has shown promising results in treating some conditions, but within the scientific community, there’s not much consensus about the benefits. Keep in mind that RLT isn’t FDA-approved for most conditions or covered by insurance companies.
We would like to hear if you have some experience with RLT.
I was in an auto accident...what are common injuries?
Posted February 22, 2021
Serious traumatic injuries are treated immediately by emergency professionals. However, other significant symptoms may be delayed for as long as a month. If you are involved in a car accident, no matter whether it is major or minor, it is important to receive a thorough &comprehensive evaluation.
Head Injuries. Injuries to the head are a common result of an auto accident. In addition to whiplash, impact with the window or steering wheel can cause bruises, scrapes, or deep cuts. Concussions may result. Even a short black out or brief loss of time may be an indication of serious head injury.
Chest Injuries. Chest injuries are usually contusions or bruises. Seat belts commonly cause bruising to the chest during impact, but the deployment of the Air Bag may also injure occupants.
Soft Tissue. Damage to the muscles, ligaments, or tendons is common. Whiplash is the over-stretching of neck muscles & ligaments.
Scrapes & Cuts. Loose objects in your car may be launched during a collision. These objects, not to mention broken glass & metal, may cause serious injury. Airbags are known to cause cuts, scrapes & bruises during deployment.
Arm & Leg Injuries. Injuries to your arms & legs are caused by sudden direction changes or stops. Front seat occupants commonly hit their knees on the bottom of the dashboard.
We have experience in the diagnosis & treatment of your injuries. Call Today!
People don’t know there is a relationship btwn low back pain & biomechanical foot dysfunction.
Published February 19, 2021
Our feet are the foundation for the musculoskeletal system & are our connection to the ground. Therefore, deficiencies of the feet will affect the entire skeleton. This is due to von Baeyer’s Closed Chain of Links, which states “malalignment or irregularity in function or position of one part affects the entire chain”. Our feet are the only unyielding point from which the rest of the body can stabilize.
In other words, what happens to our feet effects everything above.
On a technical level, our custom orthotics are effective in helping treat low back pain through the elimination of abnormal pronation w/ a reduction of the lumbosacral angle & secondary low back tightness or spasm. Our orthotics are semi-rigid so that they flex while supporting the foot. This is in contrast to the rock-hard orthotics dispensed by podiatrists/orthopedists. Important if you’re an athlete or are on your feet all day!
At Swank Chiropractic Sports Medicine is the number one choice for Chiropractic Services in the Triangle because of our comprehensive, straight forward, common sense & personalized treatment. Our patients are pleased to discover they can live pain-free & get back to enjoying life again. Athletes discover increased performance & fewer injuries.
Is The Mirror a good alternative to a gym membership?
Published February 2, 2021
Patients at Swank Chiropractic Sports Medicine know we stress the importance of staying happy, flexible & active. That includes regular exercise. To that end, most of us have found alternatives to gym /YMCA memberships. For people like me, we can continue to run & bike outside. But if you like group classes & have favorite instructors, there is a good option for your home.
The Mirror is a reflective screen that turns any room in your house into a gym. At 5’ x 2’, it doesn’t take up a lot of wall space & is a normal mirror when off. Once paired with an app, you have access to1000’s of classes.
Of course, nothing compares to real-life instructors who motivate & correct you during workouts or meeting w/ friends at the gym. However, The Mirror offers a variety of workouts that range in type, difficulty & time. You can do yoga or cardio workouts, strength train & more.
The Mirror isn’t cheap ($1,495 + $39/month subscription). But, compared to gym membership, the difference may not be that much.
Most people seem happy with The Mirror. It provides engaging workouts & offers a variety of intensities with a huge number of classes. Workouts don’t require equipment, but adding resistance or weights can make exercises more challenging. And most importantly, you can exercise safely on your own schedule, which is valuable in this time of social distancing.
Bottom line, The Mirror is a convenient & effective way to exercise at home. To find out more go to https://www.mirror.co
Why it is important to improve proprioception.
Published January 18, 2021
Proprioception is our body’s ability to understand & recognize its position in space. Our body is constantly using its sensory systems to plan, react & move with function & performance in mind. Proprioception is important for performance in every sport, but also just moving through a typical day. Throughout our lives, proprioception tends to decrease. This is due to stresses, strains, injuries, metabolic changes, etc. Impaired proprioception results in less accurate detection of body position. The result? Abnormal joint biomechanics leading to degenerative joint disease. We also see decreased athletic performance & increased risk of falls. Regular physical activity helps to preserve proprioception. However, when we suffer back, neck or extremity problems, it is often difficult to regain lost proprioception. This is where a vibration plate is helpful. As vibration forces the muscles to hold position, our body recruits & activates more motor points in order to maintain contraction. Hence, injured or rarely exercised motor points are effectively utilized. Our brain seeks to utilize increasing muscle groups in an effort to counterbalance & support the body. Vibration rehab improves flexibility, coordination, stability & better balance. Muscle flexibility & coordination is essential to smooth body movements within its full range of motion.
I’ve heard that Swank Chiropractic Sports Medicine offers Dry Needling. Is this a procedure that may help me?
Published January 7, 2021
Chronically tight, injured or dysfunctional muscles may develop knotted areas called trigger points. They often cause referred pain (or pain affecting another part of the body). Dr Neill treats these points by applying hair- thin solid needles into these trigger points. The needles stimulate the tissue, not inject medication. Pain affects how our body moves. Dry needling affects how the brain & muscles talk to each other to let the system return to a more normal movement pattern. Dry needling may be recommended as a part of your overall plan of treatment. Dry needling is an effective way to increase range of motion that is limited due to pain, muscle tension or scar tissue. Dry needling may be recommended for: Disk problems Tendinitis Migraine & tension-type headaches Whiplash Repetitive motion disorders (like carpal tunnel syndrome) Spinal problems Pelvic pain Night cramps (restless leg syndrome) Jaw & mouth problems, such as TMJ (TMD) Joint problems Muscle spasm Myofascial pain Pain left behind by shingles Scar-tissue buildup Most people require at least 2-3 dry needling sessions to reach the full effects of treatment, though some may need up to 6 office visits. Dry needling may be performed 1 or 2x a week. In rare cases, minor adverse side effects occur or if you do not wish to continue receiving dry needling, therapy can be discontinued w/o issue & we will recommend different procedures or treatments.
For 2021, I want to increase my fitness. However, I really don’t have any more free time than I had last year. What are my options?
Published January 4, 2021
Good news! It turns out that short, intense exercise may be healthier than longer, moderate workouts. Research reveals vigorous exercise reduces the risk of developing metabolic syndrome up to 2/3; compared to moderate/low intensity exercise, even when burning the same number of calories. Vigorous exercise includes activities such as running & jumping rope; moderate exercise includes walking or an easy bike ride.
Metabolic syndrome includes excess weight around the waist, higher blood sugar levels, high blood pressure. Metabolic syndrome increases risk of heart disease, stroke & diabetes. Current guidelines suggest at least 150 min of moderate-intensity or 75 min of vigorous exercise/wk. Research shows that in general, active people lower their risk of metabolic syndrome. However, vigorous exercise appears more beneficial than moderate exercise. In a recent study, people who performed 150 min of moderate exercise were about 2.4X more likely to develop metabolic syndrome than those who did 75 min/wk of vigorous exercise.
By the way, moderate intensity is 64-76% of max heart rate. Vigorous is considered 77- 93% of max. You can determine your heart rate zones by this simple formula; 220 minus your age times the percent you want to achieve. https://www.cdc.gov/physicalac... It’s best to ramp up slowly & of course be sure you don’t have any underlying health problems that would limit intensity. Not sure? Schedule your annual medical physical before you hit those higher zones.
My son & his friends, insist on wearing shorts when it's freezing cold outside. Should I be concerned?
Published December 21, 2020
Unless you have an adolescent boy (and frankly, some dad’s), you may not realize this is a thing. However, for many parents, shorts are an annual controversy.
Expert opinions vary on this topic. For the most part; shorts are going to be ok. If it's 40 degrees or even in the 30’s & your kid is outside for brief periods, you probably shouldn’t worry. However, parents should be concerned about prolonged exposure to the cold. Wearing shorts in sub-freezing temperatures resulting in long periods of exposure isn't a good idea.
Parents shorts policy should be based on several variables. We need to consider; the temperature & exposure times, if it’s going to be a wet/damp day & wind chill. When temps are below 30 degrees, insist on pants. And remember, frostbite is possible at 40F due to wind chill. On wet, damp days, we tend to lose heat more quickly. So, again, wear pants.
Parents should weigh all factors for the day when deciding about shorts. The ultimate goal is the safely of our kids. On those “questionable” days, tossing some sweatpants in the backpack is a good compromise.
We lose body heat through whatever surface is uncovered fairly equally. By the way, it’s a myth that we lose most of our body heat through our heads.
There is an Online Tool that Estimates when You will be Able to Receive the Covid Vaccine
Published December 18, 2020
How long until you can get COVID vaccine in North Carolina? We can use this new tool to get an idea. A new online tool uses age, county of residence, profession and underlying health conditions to determine how many people are ahead of you to get the vaccine. The New York Times, which created the tool with the Surgo Foundation and Ariadne Labs, said the results are just one possibility, and the amount of time for distribution “is also an open question.”
To use the new tool Click here: https://www.nytimes.com/intera...
Or visit the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/c..
Want to enjoy the season, without all the New Years regret? Here are some tips that will keep you on track.
Published Dec 02, 2020
On average; Americans gain 1-2 lbs over the holidays. That may not sound like much, but studies show that most people will not lose that extra pound or two over the year.
- Eat early. Don't skip breakfast
- Graze. Eat small meals during the day
- Work out. Exercise elevates metabolism, helping burn calories & elevate your mood
- Stay hydrated. Choose water. Multiply your weight by 2/3. That’s how many ozs of H20 per day
- Pack snacks. Heading out for the day? Bring some healthy snacks, instead of stopping at McDonalds
- Skip the comfy pants. Loose-fitting clothes make it easier to overeat
- Simply sip. Make that drink last longer by sipping. You'll cut down on calories
- Veg out. Hit the crunchy vegetables. They'll fill you up, making you less likely to overeat
- Go lean. Choose lean proteins like turkey (w/o the skin), fish & pork
- Enjoy the season stuff. Eat special holiday foods in moderation, but limit foods you can get all year, like mashed potatoes
- Give in. If a tiny portion of pie won't cut it, then eat a full slice
- Think small. Use a small plate if there’s a choice. This keeps portions modest.
- Don’t crowd your plate. Avoid piling food on your plate
- Do it yourself. Contribute your own tasty, low-cal dish
- Move aside. When done eating, move away from the table. This keeps us from nibbling
- Have one bite. Can’t decide? Divide desserts into “bite-size” & share.
- Choose fruit. Create a big fruit salad. The sugars in fruit can squelch your desire for other sweets
- Savor your food. Take time to enjoy each bite #weightloss #holidayseason #chiropractic
Dr Parker Neill has received certification to perform dry needling for Swank Chiropractic Sports Medicine patients.
Published Nov 27, 2020
Since the 1980s, dry needling involves careful placement of hair-thin needles into myofascial trigger points; small muscle knots that are highly sensitive & painful to the touch. This procedure relieves pain, improves joint range of motion & addresses neuromuscular conditions.
A minimally invasive treatment w/ low risk of complication, research shows dry needling is effective in relieving acute & chronic pain when used along with other treatments including Chiropractic adjustments, stretching, massage therapy, therapeutic ultrasound & electrical muscle stimulation.
We may use dry needling to treat:
- Disk problems
- Jaw & mouth problems, such as TMJ (TMD)
- Joint problems
- Muscle spasm
- Myofascial pain
- Migraine & tension-type headaches
- Pelvic pain
- Phantom pain
- Pain left behind by shingles
- Reduced range of motion
- Repetitive motion disorders, like carpal tunnel syndrome
- Scar-tissue buildup
- Spinal problems
Trigger points are believed to be caused by an excess of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, leading to a taut band forming within the muscle. A natural protective measure in response to injury, repetitive motion, or sustained postures, these bands can become knots if left unresolved.
Most people require at least 2 or 3 dry needling sessions to reach the full effects of treatment, though some may need up to 6 office visits. Dry needling may be performed 1 or 2x a week. In rare cases, minor adverse side effects occur or if you do not wish to continue receiving dry needling, therapy can be discontinued w/o issue & we will recommend different procedures or treatments.
Call today to discover how dry needling may help! 919-460-6098
7 Incredible Health Benefits of Walking 30 Minutes a Day
Published Nov 05, 2019
Taking a 30-minute walk a day is kind of like that proverbial apple: There's a good chance it'll keep the doctor away. From helping you lose weight and de-stress to lowering your blood pressure and reducing your risk of many chronic diseases—going for regular walks is one of the best and easiest things you can do for your health, says Melina B. Jampolis, MD, author of The Doctor on Demand Diet. "Walking is the number one exercise I recommend to most of my patients because it is very easy to do, requires nothing but a pair of tennis shoes, and has tremendous mental and physical benefits," she says. Here's what you can expect when you start walking for just 30 minutes every day, most days of the week.
Your mood will improve
You know how sometimes it takes a glass of wine or a square (or three) of dark chocolate to blunt the edge of a rough day? Well, going for a walk is a zero-calorie strategy with the same benefits, says Dr. Jampolis. "Research shows that regular walking actually modifies your nervous system so much that you'll experience a decrease in anger and hostility," she says. What's more, when you make your walks social—you stride with, say, your partner, a neighbor, or a good friend—that interaction helps you feel connected, says Dr. Jampolis, which boosts mood. Finally, walking outdoors exposes you to natural sunlight, which can help stave off Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)—making it a potential antidote for the winter blues, says Dr. Jampolis.
Your creative juices will start flowing
hether you're feeling stuck at work or you've been searching for a solution to a tricky problem, research shows it's a good idea to get moving: According to a 2014 study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, Learning, Memory, and Cognition, going for a walk can spark creativity. "Researchers administered creative-thinking tests to subjects while seated and while walking and found that the walkers thought more creatively than the sitters," says Dr. Jampolis.
Your jeans will get a little looser
This one may seem obvious, but it's certainly a happy benefit for those who start walking regularly, says Dr. Jampolis. "As you continue to walk, you may notice your pants begin to fit more loosely around your midsection, even if the number on the scale isn't moving much," she says. "That's because regular walking can help improve your body's response to insulin, which can help reduce belly fat." Ariel Iasevoli, a personal trainer at Crunch gyms in New York City, adds that walking every day is one of the most effective low-impact ways to mobilize fat and positively alter body composition. "Daily walking increases metabolism by burning extra calories and by preventing muscle loss, which is particularly important as we get older," says Iasevoli. The best part? You don't have to slog it out on a treadmill at the gym to see these benefits. "One of my clients reduced her body fat by 2% in just one month by walking home from work each day, which was just under a mile," she says.
You'll slash your risk of chronic disease
The statistics are impressive: The American Diabetes Association says walking lowers your blood sugar levels and your overall risk for diabetes. Researchers at the University of Boulder Colorado and the University of Tennessee found that regular walking lowered blood pressure by as much as 11 points and may reduce the risk of stroke by 20% to 40%. One of the most cited studies on walking and health, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2002, found that those who walked enough to meet physical activity guidelines (30 or more minutes of moderate activity on 5 or more days per week) had a 30% lower risk of cardiovascular disease, compared with those who did not walk regularly. "The physical benefits of walking are well documented," says Scott Danberg, director of fitness at Pritikin Longevity Center + Spa in Miami. With impressive results like these, there's a good chance you'll get a pat on the back from your doc at your next checkup.
You'll keep your legs looking great
As we age, our risk of unsightly varicose veins increases—it's just not fair. However, walking is a proven way to prevent those unsightly lines from developing, says Luis Navarro, MD, founder, and director of The Vein Treatment Center in New York City. "The venous system includes a circulatory section known as 'the second heart,' which is formed by muscles, veins, and valves located in our calf and foot," he explains. "This system works to push blood back up to the heart and lungs—and walking strengthens this secondary circulatory system by strengthening and preserving leg muscle, which boosts healthy blood flow." If you already suffer from varicose veins, daily walking can help ease related swelling and restlessness in your legs, says Dr. Navarro. "Also, if you are genetically predisposed to have varicose and/or spider veins, walking daily can help delay the onset."
Your digestion will improve
If you currently praise coffee for keeping your digestive system going strong, get ready to start thanking your morning walk instead. That's because a regular walking routine can greatly improve gastric mobility, says Tara Alaichamy, DPT, a physical therapist at Cancer Treatment Centers of America. "One of the very first things an abdominal surgery patient is required to do is to walk because it utilizes core and abdominal muscles, encouraging movement in our GI system," she says. (Check out these 7 things your poop says about your health.)
Your other goals will start to seem more reachable
When you become a regular walker, you will have established a regular routine—and when you have a routine, you are more likely to continue with the activity and take on new healthy behaviors. "I firmly believe that walking regularly can help you to accomplish other goals you set your mind to," says Kim Evans, a personal trainer, and daily walker.