Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Core Exercises, what they are and why are they important?

Many people put lots of energy and time into developing those “abs of steel”. Lots of different methods and gadgets have even been created to help you develop that perfect “six pack”. Many times these infomercials leave you thinking…”Really? Just 5 minutes a day, and that can be me? What a deal!” Some people see minor changes, while many are left frustrated with little or no change at all. One thing all of these companies agree on is the importance of developing core stability. You may be wondering what exactly it means to have good core stability. Although the “six pack” looks appealing in the mirror, it’s actually the underlying muscles in the abdomen and back that provide true core stability for the body. These muscles include: the oblique and transverse abdominal muscles, and the multifidous and roatores muscles of the back. While the back muscles are very small, they are very important for stability. These muscles are activated when performing activities like bending over, twisting, and balance. It is important to establish proper core strength, and keep these muscles strong for a healthy back and spine!

You may be surprised to learn that doing hundreds of crunches may actually be working against core stability formation! Many times when doing crunches, other muscles are being used, like the iliopsoas. When the iliopsoas (a hip flexing muscle that provides movement to the pelvis and lumbar spine), is more active during crunches, there is restriction in the ability to target the abdominal muscles at the core. When performing an “abdominal crunch” there is usually over activation of the iliopsoas, which causes the abdominal muscles to work less, and may even lead to low back pain due to increased stress on the spine and hips. It may be time to change up your workout routine, and activate your abdominal core in a more effective way!

A good way to assess your core is by talking with a certified trainer, to see what your basic core needs are. They will then help you build a workout routine suited ideally for you! Also, many health and wellness doctors, like Chiropractors, can assess your spine and muscle balance. Chiropractors restore alignment and symmetry of the body by doing adjustments, and by incorporating basic exercises to strengthen your body where it is most important, the core and spine

For more information on Chiropractic and its health benefits, or to make an appointment at Milestone Chiropractic Centre, please call us at (540) 656-2885. Dr. Kevin Haselhorst and Dr. Meggen Briscoe would be happy to answer any questions! Or check out our website at

Friday, February 25, 2011

What a Headache!!!

As warmer months approach, we can all use some healthy advice to help us prepare for the upcoming spring. This month we will focus on headaches and migraines. If you suffer from headaches and migraines, you are not alone, and there are answers! Nine out of ten Americans suffer from some type of headache. Whether they last a few minutes or a few days, headaches interfere with your work, distance you from your friends and family, and drain the joy out of your activities. These headaches can usually be triggered by physical stressors like tight muscles, nerve irritation, hormone fluctuations, emotional stress and/or different types of foods. So what do we do when we get a headache? Do we grit our teeth and carry on? Lie down? Pop a pill and hope for the best? There are better alternatives.

These alternatives--which encompass changes in the way we move, eat, and live--will not only lessen the pain of a headache once it's started, but may keep it from happening in the first place. If you get headaches, consider these 4 natural approaches.

1. Aromatherapy: Using essential oils like Sweet Marjoram, Peppermint or Lavender can help calm the body and some types of headaches. Usually after 20 minutes there is noticeable difference.

2. Yoga: This style of mediation/exercise can help reduce physical tension in the body and calms the mind. Plus, it improves flexibility and strength!!

3. Traditional Chinese Medicine: like acupuncture and herbs can help to center and balance the energy in the body, but must be done by certified practitioner.

4. Chiropractic: Many times headaches and migraines can come from pressure or tension on nerves and muscles in the neck and shoulders. A Chiropractor can locate these areas and help improve many types of headaches naturally and safely.

 To find out more information about natural treatment alternatives for headaches and migraines, please contact Dr. Kevin Haselhorst and Dr. Meggen Briscoe at Milestone Chiropractic Centre! You can email us at or call our office at (540) 656-2885.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Brushing your teeth and Heart Disease...where's the connection?

This may seem like a strange combination of topics, but they do in fact relate!  Over the last few weeks I have been seeing articles pop-up about how brushing your teeth can actually reduce your risk for heart disease!!  Allow me to explain...

A study done surveyed over 11,000 adults with an average age of 50 years old, on their teeth brushing habits.  The study also checked their prevelance of cardiovascular disease and C-reactive protein levels and fibrinogen.

Now, when you have high levels of C-reactive protien and fibrinogen it indicates that the body is in a state of inflammation.  When the body is in a state of inflammation, the heart has to pump and work harder, and your body is in a constant state of 'work' trying to reduce the inflammation.  This takes a toll on your heart, arteries and veins...and can lead to adverse effects on your health!!!

The study showed that over 8 years, there were 555 cardiovascular episodes, 170 of which were fatal.  These were all linked to participants that reported 'never or rarely' brushing their teeth.  (YIKES!)

Compared to those who brushed more frequently, their C-reactive protein and fibrinogen levels were lower!!  Meaning their inflammatory state was less than those who didn't brush.  People who brush once daily have a 30% higher risk, and people who brush less than once daily have a 70% higher risk for cardiovascular episodes in the future!

Remember when mom always used to get on your case about brushing your teeth, turns out, she was right (again.)!  Moral of the story...BRUSH THOSE PEARLY WHITES!!!  It helps keep your teeth healthy, but also your heart healthy too!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Kids and Chiropractic!!

Chiropractic Safe for Children - Study Shows

A study published in the September-October 2009 Journal of Science and Healing showed that chiropractic care for children is safe. The study showed that the primary reason that most children went to the chiropractor was "wellness care."

The study involved surveying both Doctors of Chiropractic who took care of children and parents who brought their children to chiropractors. In the survey of the doctors the results showed that out of 577 children under the age of 18, with a total of 5,438 office visits, there were only three minor adverse events reported. In the survey of parents of 239 children under chiropractic care, there were only 2 minor adverse events reported. The study noted that the adverse events were minor discomfort after the adjustment and were readily resolved with continued adjustments.

Of those children who were brought to the chiropractor for health issues, the most common symptoms noted in the study were muscular conditions, ear, nose, throat, respiratory and digestive disorders. Both parents and doctors indicated a high rate of improvement with the children's presenting health issues. In addition to these improvements, the doctors and parents also reported better sleeping patterns, improvements in behavior, and improved immune system function while under chiropractic care.

Dr. Joel Alcantara, International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) Research Director and author of this study said, "This paper shows the preliminary results of the ICPA's Children's PBRN (practice-based research network) Phase One". Dr. Alcantra then continued, "Phase Two is well under way and we have initiated similar research pertinent to pregnancy. We are pleased that a major CAM (complimentary and alternative medicine) Journal respects the importance of chiropractic care for children and we foresee greater collaboration with the CAM community on the importance of chiropractic care for children."

Dr. Renny M. Edelson, one of the Doctors of Chiropractic who participated in the study summed up the enthusiasm of the study results by saying, "It is wonderful to see research substantiating the safety of chiropractic care for children and the overwhelming satisfaction of parents with children under care."

Did you  know that Milestone Chiropractic Centre takes care of LOTS of kids?!  Look, here is a picture of Dr. Meggen adjusting one of our CHIRO KIDS!!  Bring in your family and kids today for a wellness check up to get them on the right track in life at a young age. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Benefits of skin-to-skin contact after birth...

This week, an Australian couple, Kate and David Ogg, said that a "kangaroo cuddle" saved the life of one of their twins. Doctors told the couple that baby boy Jamie, who was delivered prematurely at 27 weeks and weighed 2.2 pounds, would not live. Hospital staff tried to resuscitate the child for 20 minutes before giving the parents the heartbreaking news that Jamie had died, meaning only one of their babies would make it, French news agency AFP reported.
But Kate placed the baby on her chest and used the kangaroo method, which involves skin-to-skin contact between mother and child. She remained in that position for two hours and soon the infant's gasps became more regular and, after a while, he opened his eyes. When the Oggs sent their doctor a message that Jamie was showing signs of life, he dismissed the movements as reflexes.

Kangaroo care is a method that's often used on premature babies where the infant has skin-to-skin contact with his or her mother, just like a marsupial. It's thought that this type of closeness can help regulate the preemie's heartbeat and body temperature, giving the baby a better chance of survival.

In typical kangaroo care, the baby wears only a diaper and is secured to the mother's chest in a head-up position with a piece of cloth. The cloth wraps around under the baby's bottom to create a tight bundle -- like a kangaroo pouch.  Below is an example of a couple using the skin-to-skin contact.

Dr. Mitchell Goldstein, who practices neonatal-perinatal medicine and pediatrics in West Covina, Calif., tells AOL Health that it is possible that this baby was saved by kangaroo care. "This story is intriguing. I'm not saying that in all cases kangaroo care will resuscitate every preterm baby, but there are certain cues moms provide for babies -- it's something that's a testimony to the maternal instinct bond," he says.

"In the NICU, we're applying chest compression and respiration that are much more vigorous. Medications and fluids were probably given, and then when these things did not make a difference, they gave up. Would I advocate using kangaroo care before vigorous resuscitation? No. But after trying it, yes," says Goldstein.

But kangaroo care isn't for all preemies. If a baby is so small that his skin hasn't had a chance to fully developed, the skin could stick to the mother's body, causing more harm than good, Goldstein says.

Kangaroo care widely is used in developing countries where hospital crowding is common and there is a shortage of caregivers. If there aren't enough incubators available, skin-to-skin contact can regulate the baby's temperature. The method also allows for easy access for breast feeding and bonding opportunities between parent and baby (dads can do it, too).

Other benefits of kangaroo care include less stress for the parent and baby and lower hospital costs. But for the Oggs, the proof that kangaroo care works comes from the fact that their son Jamie is now very much alive and thriving. Now 5 months old, he and his twin sister have been taken to the United States on a media tour with their parents.
"Studies have shown that in third world countries kangaroo care improves survival rates by 90 percent," says Goldstein. "Moms are nature's incubators -- and not only to warm a baby. If a baby's temperature gets too high the mom will cool down. Kangaroo care also improves breast feeding. It can have a tremendous benefit for all babies, whether or not they are in distress or preterm."

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Fox News Story about Daily Dose of Aspirin

Healthy Warned Against Daily Dose Of Aspirin 
 Monday August 31, 2009

Healthy people who take aspirin to prevent heart attacks could be doing themselves more harm than good, experts have warned.  New study adds to confusion over benefits of taking aspirin.  The drug, which reduces the risk of blood clots, can be taken by patients who have already suffered a heart attack or are at risk of one, according to NHS Direct.

Millions of others are also believed to take a daily dose as an "insurance policy" in the hope of guarding against heart trouble.
 But the routine use of aspirin by healthy people to prevent heart problems "cannot be supported", professors from the Aspirin for Asymptomatic Atherosclerosis (AAA) said.

Their study found that the risk of cardiovascular problems had to be set against the increased risk of internal bleeding.

Professor Peter Weissberg, of the British Heart Foundation which part-funded the research, said: "We know that patients with symptoms of artery disease, such as angina, heart attack or stroke, can reduce their risk of further problems by taking a small dose of aspirin each day.
 "The findings of this study agree with our current advice that people who do not have symptomatic or diagnosed artery or heart disease should not take aspirin, because the risks of bleeding may outweigh the benefits."
In patients who have already had a heart attack, the risk of a second is so much higher that the balance is in favour of taking aspirin, Professor Gerry Fowkes, from the Wolfson Unit for Prevention of Peripheral Vascular Diseases in Edinburgh, added.
The study recruited 28,980 men and women aged between 50 and 75 who were free of clinically evident cardiovascular disease in central Scotland.

They were given either a daily dose of 100mg of aspirin or a placebo.

Major bleeding requiring admission to hospital occurred in 34 (2%) subjects in the aspirin group and 20 (1.2%) of the placebo group.

*Story from FoxNews.Com*