Soccer is one of the most popular team sports in the United States, and offers an excellent form of exercise to children and adults alike. Unfortunately, the nature of the sport, the repeated movement and the chance of collision, add up to quite a few opportunities for injury.

Lower and upper extremity injuries, overuse injuries, and head, neck, and face injuries are commonplace. According to Stanford Children's Health, "88,000 children 8-14 were treated in an emergency room for soccer-related injuries."

Soccer players who take certain precautionary measures decrease their chances of injury. Let’s look at three ways you can avoid injury as a soccer player:

#1: Use proper equipment

Donning proper fitting cleats, uniforms, and shin guards decrease the risk of being hurt in the first place. Make adjustments often, especially if the player is growing rapidly or fluctuates in weight.

#2: Get checked out by a chiropractor pre-season

Soccer players who allow their fitness less to lapse increase the chance of injury. Visit a Doctor of Chiropractic to ensure there are no underlying issues with participating in strenuous activity. A chiropractor is also able to make sure the spine is aligned and muscles and joints are strong and functioning properly.

#3: Pay attention to the surroundings

A field that is not kept up well offers a greater chance of turning an ankle or falling. It's vital to check out the playing area beforehand and note any uneven areas that could cause a player to trip.

In addition, consider the weather. Muddy, slick fields create extra issues, and particularly hot temperatures make players run the risk of dehydration or heat stroke. Prepare for weather issues in advance of the game.

If, even though you take all of these precautions, you still end up injured, there are several options for treatment. The injury is hopefully mild and heals on its own after a few days of rest. More serious injuries require a doctor visit, and one of these three treatments.

First, ice and elevate it: Keep weight off the injured area as much as possible, and elevate it with pillows. Use an ice bag wrapped in a towel to keep down swelling and inflammation. If the injury is painful, over the counter medication helps reduce discomfort.

Then, take a break: The last decision you want to make is to begin playing too soon and re-injure yourself. With more serious injuries, sitting out of a few games, or even an entire season, is a choice that promotes healing and health. Talk to your chiropractor about the timeframe the injury needs to be able to recover correctly, and follow his or her advice.

Finally, keep your chiropractic adjustments: Chiropractors are trained in treating the neuromusculoskeletal system as a whole. Many of the injuries suffered from soccer show an improvement after a few chiropractic visits.

Spinal and joint alignment, muscle healing, and tendon relaxation are all techniques chiropractors employ to promote and hasten healing. Additionally, chiropractors give insight on valuable ways to use nutrition and exercise to keep the body functioning at optimum capacity, to avoid re-injury.

Enjoying physical activity is essential to maintain a routine that provides a healthy, active lifestyle, and joining a soccer team is a great choice for children as well as adults. Knowing the advance precautions to put in place to avoid injury will help keep you strong and safe.

If, however, you or your child end up hurt, these forms of treatment will lessen healing time and get you back in the game at full speed. So give us a call to schedule your next appointment before you get back out on the pitch.

This article is copyrighted by Blogging Chiros LLC for its Doctor of Chiropractic members and may not be copied or duplicated in any manner including printed or electronic media, regardless of whether for a fee or gratis without the prior written permission of Blogging Chiros, LLC.

It's hard to turn on the television or cruise the internet without being bombarded with headlines about "Americans don't sleep enough" or "one third of adults are obese."

While stress, heredity, and smoking are all factors that play into a person's well being, one of the biggest is a healthy diet. Choosing to eat healthy benefits the body in a number of key areas. Still gobbling up the pizza and slurping down the diet soda, unconvinced? See if these eight points about a healthy diet change your mind.

1. Strengthens and improves muscle function

Healthy muscles carry us where we want to go. The right foods, along with proper exercise, build and maintain muscle mass, maintaining strength and mobility.

2. Promotes a longer life

Feeding your body what it needs can add years to your life. Reducing stress is one way to promote health, and a healthy diet is another. Foods rich in minerals and vitamins build up every cell in your body, preparing it to fight illness and stay alive longer.

3. Enables richer years

An individual who is healthy maintains a higher level of physical activity and brain function than their less healthy peers. A stronger body provides a richer life with more unique experiences.

4. Makes you prettier

If you won't eat healthy for your insides, maybe a better outside will motivate some dietary changes. We all want to be physically attractive. Healthy foods contribute to clear skin and shiny hair that no amount of high priced beauty products provides. Fueling the body with rich omega fatty and other healthy foods nourishes skin, hair, and nails.

5. Makes you smarter

Research shows certain dietary choices power up your brain to function at a higher level, and help everyday brain function. Introducing "brain foods" into your diet aid with memory retention and problem solving skills.

This is one of the best reasons to commit to a healthy diet of vitamin-rich foods, as a healthy brain allows a much more active and independent lifestyle, from working longer to being able to drive.

6. Decreases your injury risk

A high-functioning body with strong bones and muscles maintains balance, handles heavy loads, and holds up under stress better than its weaker counterparts. Muscles and bones lacking calcium and protein over time grow weaker.

This, unfortunately, causes the body to be less stable and more prone to injury. Falls, slips, and twists end up with more serious injuries if a person's body isn't strong and healthy.

7. Fights bad genes

If you are already worried about the cancer that runs on mom's side or the heart attack risk that runs on dad's side, take heart. While you can't change your DNA, you can use a healthy diet to combat some of your genetic disposition to disease.

Ingraining a healthy diet into your life, as well as exercise and regular doctor checkups, helps minimize the risk of falling victim to your family's predisposed illnesses.

If you end up with an illness, whether or not from heredity, a healthy diet....

8. Prepares you to fight illness

A nutrient-rich diet boosts a person's immune system to be able to fight off infection and illness. When a person falls victim to a disease or other medical condition, their diet helps them fight it off so it hopefully doesn't get worse and is cured quickly.

A healthy diet is integral to a long, happy life. Deciding to eat healthy and maintain that commitment consistently may seem like a big change in lifestyle at first, but it will benefit you and your loved ones in ways that are practically immeasurable.

This article is copyrighted by Blogging Chiros LLC for its Doctor of Chiropractic members and may not be copied or duplicated in any manner including printed or electronic media, regardless of whether for a fee or gratis without the prior written permission of Blogging Chiros, LLC.

Summer fun means outside activities in the warm sun, from strenuous pursuits like biking, hiking, and volleyball-playing, to more leisurely enjoyments like sunbathing on a float. No matter how you plan to enjoy the steamy summer months, maintaining hydration should be right up there with sunscreen on your list of important hot weather priorities.

Dehydration is a condition that ranges from mild to serious, and can happen quicker than you think. Right Diagnosis defines dehydration as "an abnormal condition in which the body's cells are deprived of an adequate amount of water." One of the main situations factoring into a person becoming dehydrated is heat.

Think you drink enough water and don't need to worry about dehydration? Consider these points:

  • The ability to recognize thirst diminishes in individuals in their late 30's or older.
  • A person's body is made up of roughly 70% water.
  • When you lose 2% of the body's water content, you are considered dehydrated.

Dehydration symptoms range from unpleasant confusion, muscle weakness, and fatigue to extremely dangerous ones like seizures, kidney failure, and death. The good news is that staying hydrated in the first place is relatively easy if you take a few precautions up front.

#1: Drink plenty of water

Make it a habit of carrying water with you during the summer months, and sipping on it throughout the day, especially if you are planning on outside activities. Invest in a couple of BPA-free water bottles for yourself and your family to tote with them on their summer adventures.

Not a big fan of plain water? Try adding lemon, cucumber, and mint sprigs to liven it up! Mix up in a big pitcher the night before so the flavor has time to penetrate. Another option is flavor packets, which are individual packets of flavors like green tea, watermelon, and peach.

#2: Eat the right foods

Liquids aren't the only way your body gets water. Avoid dehydration by eating foods with a high water content.

Choices like celery, watermelon, cucumbers, carrots, and citrus fruits all offer exceptional hydrating ability. Pack these as snacks for the pool or beach, or to enjoy before and after an outdoor workout.

#3: Steer clear of certain drinks

As yummy and refreshing as an icy beer or frosty margarita tastes, alcohol can contribute to dehydration. If you decide to indulge, limit yourself to one or two, and drink a large glass of water along with your beverage to counteract the alcohol's effects.

#4: Avoid overexertion

Exercise is a wonderfully healthy pursuit; however, keep an eye on the temperature. If it is going to be exceptionally hot and humid, choose to exercise either early in the morning, or after sunset, when temperatures are lower and the sun isn't beaming.

#5: Wear proper attire

Dress in light, airy clothing in fabrics that breathe. Protect your head with a cap or hat that shades your face. Avoid black clothing, which tends to absorb the sun and make you hotter.

#6: Be prepared

Extreme heat makes everyday issues like a flat tire or dead battery life-threatening. Visit a mechanic to confirm your vehicle is in good shape to lessen the chances of getting stranded. Carry extra water or sports drinks in your vehicle, and keep your cell phone charged. If your car breaks down, either stay in your car to wait for help, or stand in the grass instead of on the sizzling pavement.

Staying hydrated is essential for good health all the time, and during the summer in particular. Implement these easy tips into your daily routine so you and your family maintain hydration and enjoy hot weather outdoor fun.

This article is copyrighted by Blogging Chiros LLC for its Doctor of Chiropractic members and may not be copied or duplicated in any manner including printed or electronic media, regardless of whether for a fee or gratis without the prior written permission of Blogging Chiros, LLC.

The crack of a ball against your bat, good! The crack of a back or shoulder, bad!

Baseball, the nationwide pass time, heats up in summer. From little league on up, individuals enjoy swinging the bat and running the bases. Unfortunately, the movements baseball requires can wreak havoc on a person's body, leaving them with strained backs, hurt shoulders, and pulled muscles. According to Livestrong, there are over 600,000 injuries from playing baseball per year, and 5-14 year olds suffer from 117,000 of them.

The aspects of the game — running, sliding, twisting, and jumping — cause the body to maneuver into awkward positions. If you or a loved one has slid into first and felt a pop, or twisted to catch a fly ball and felt a snap, chiropractic care offers several ways to help put you on the road to a complete recovery.

Manage pain

Baseball injuries frequently involve large muscles, resulting in a high degree of pain. Chiropractic treatment offers relief from severe pain of many injuries involving the spine, muscles, and joints.

Using spinal adjustments, a chiropractor is able to help the body align itself properly, and sooth the injured area. Once the body functions normally, pain is diminished. Sometimes this can be accomplished in one visit, while other injuries require a few sessions before pain diminishes.

Increase mobility

A strained neck, pulled back, or overextended knee may cause the individual serious issues in being able to move. Limping around slowly is nobody's idea of fun!

Chiropractic adjustments are proven to help reduce inflammation and improve mobility in many injury cases. If that last baseball game has you unable to put weight on your knee, your neck won't twist without pain, or your shoulder won't lift your arm, it may be time to visit a chiropractor for evaluation.

Promote healing

The premise of chiropractic care is to treat the entire body as a whole, not just the injured part. As the body becomes better aligned, it functions at a higher capacity, and begins to heal itself.

Most injuries resulting from playing baseball, such as tendonitis, strained muscles, torn rotator cuffs, and the like, heal faster with chiropractic care. Increased blood flow to the injured area, and less pressure on the body part (usually due to misalignment of the spine) allow the injured area to regenerate, and a greater chance to begin healing faster than without chiropractic care.

Avoid medication

Even over-the-counter pain and anti-inflammatory drugs cause side effects in certain individuals. Allergies, stomach issues, and other reasons result in many injured people steering clear of medication to relieve pain and inflammation.

Chiropractic care provides these individuals a drug-free, less invasive way to help manage the pain and promote healing. More people every year are choosing to visit a chiropractor for pain relief instead of popping pain medicine.

Before jumping into a baseball game, or even if you or your children play regularly, remember that prevention is worth its weight in gold. Take care of your body by stretching beforehand, being aware of your physical limits, maintaining proper posture, and staying hydrated during the game. With a little extra effort, the chance of a baseball injury can be dramatically decreased.

Summer fun often includes activities such as baseball, whether in a league or in your back yard with your family. Avoid suffering from an injury as best you can, and, if you or your child end up with an achy knee, twisted elbow, or smarting shoulder, call you chiropractor to schedule a thorough evaluation as quickly as possible.

This article is copyrighted by Blogging Chiros LLC for its Doctor of Chiropractic members and may not be copied or duplicated in any manner including printed or electronic media, regardless of whether for a fee or gratis without the prior written permission of Blogging Chiros, LLC.

Before and after weight loss

We all know and understand the importance of maintaining a healthy weight. Some individuals do quite nicely at managing their pounds with seemingly little effort, while other struggle constantly.

A recent study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 78 million American adults suffer from obesity. A person who has sustained an injury or suffers from an illness that affects their back, hips, knees or ankles are especially susceptible to weight gain, because they must deal with limited mobility and the stress of daily pain.

Striving to stay in the ideal weight range for your body type and height provides a variety of health benefits such as adding less pressure on your back and joints, and increasing your range of motion. Patients who receive chiropractic care often enjoy increased healing by pursuing weight loss.

Successfully fight the battle of the bulge with these four handy weight loss tips to amplify the effectiveness of chiropractic care.

First, start small

Replace a couple of negative behaviors with positive ones, and commit to making them stick. Great examples of these are substituting water for soft drinks, eating a high-protein breakfast, or changing out your nightly bowl of ice cream with yogurt.

Simply removing 100 calories a day adds up to a 10 pound weight loss over a year's time. Small modifications offer the dual benefits of being easier to implement while still showing results.

Next, keep a journal

Write down every bite you eat along with the portion size. Listing your food intake provides accountability, which may keep you from noshing on that third slice of pizza or super-sizing those fries.

It also arms you with important intel that will be helpful throughout your weight loss journey. If you hit a plateau, read back through the journal to see what you may have changed over time that caused the scales to stall.

And speaking of scales....

Don't live and cry by the scales

Often, dieters weigh every day and are elated or depressed based on the number on the scales. That's a roller coaster way to live, and those emotions can cause calorie laden binges!

Plus, daily weighing is not accurate, as fluctuations in water weight are common. Weigh once a week at the most, at roughly the same time each day. A weekly routine gives you a good idea of your success without the stressful up and down of daily weighing.

Decrease your sedentary ways

Even if you are dealing with an injury or medical condition that limits the ability to exercise, you can still probably be less sedentary than you are now. Again, simplicity is the key.

Walk into the bank instead of using the drive through window, stand up to fold clothes instead of sitting down, and take periodic breaks at your desk to stand for a bit.

Ask your chiropractor about any limitations you need to follow, and request stretching exercises as your personal situation permits. Moving more on a daily basis will aid in shedding those extra pounds and keeping them off long-term.

It's important for individuals to maintain a normal weight range in order to enjoy a healthy life. Chiropractic patients benefit even more from shedding those extra pounds.

By committing to a healthier lifestyle with fewer pounds to carry around, individuals with back and joint injuries will see greater positive impact from their chiropractic visits. Over time, the combination of a leaner body and chiropractic care will bring greater mobility, less pain, and a decreased chance for re-injury to the patient.

This article is copyrighted by Blogging Chiros LLC for its Doctor of Chiropractic members and may not be copied or duplicated in any manner including printed or electronic media, regardless of whether for a fee or gratis without the prior written permission of Blogging Chiros, LLC.

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