All posts by Dr. Scott LeVan

Chiropractic Care for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel is a condition associated with pain that occurs due to an impinged nerve in the wrist. The carpal tunnel is actually a narrow wrist cavity that exists to safeguard the nerve that controls hand function and tendons that control and regulate hand and finger movement. When this tunnel becomes swollen or compressed in any way, it places extra pressure on the nerve causing symptoms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. When left untreated, the condition can cause tissue deterioration and long-term damage.

Symptoms and Causes of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome vary from one sufferer to another, but they generally include:

  • Hand numbness,
  • Tingling in the hands,
  • Weakness,
  • Loss of hand coordination,
  • Pain that travels up the arm, and more.

Causes of carpal tunnel syndrome usually relate to usage. They can include:

  • Driving long distances or frequently,
  • Extended computer use,
  • Manual labor,
  • Improper hand use patterns – lifting, exercising and more.

Individuals of all ages are subject to the condition, but it’s generally seen among people between the ages of 30 and 60.

There is Help Available

When help is sought from an experienced chiropractor, there is hope. In most cases, the damage caused by the syndrome can be treated and reversed. A skilled chiropractor – like Dr. Scott LeVan at LeVan Chiropractic – can listen to your needs and symptoms while performing an exam to determine potential problem areas and creating a plan of action to move forward.

Carpal tunnel syndrome does not have to be a lifelong pain, there is help available. It all starts with a call. Schedule a consultation with LeVan Chiropractic today to learn if chiropractic care could help correct your carpal tunnel pain.

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Insomnia

Getting a good night’s sleep is critical – it’s what provides energy to get through the next day while recharging you to face what’s ahead. It affects energy levels and even your moods.

But, sometimes sleep can be hard to find. Sufferers of insomnia have a hard time falling or staying asleep and 10% of the population suffers more than every now and then, with a chronic sleep issue like insomnia.

Insomnia

Is what you’re suffering from insomnia? A few symptoms include:

  • Trouble falling asleep,
  • Waking up multiple times during the night,
  • Waking up too early without being able to fall back asleep,
  • Waking up feeling tired, as though you didn’t sleep, and more.

Beyond the typical symptoms, daytime drowsiness, low concentration levels, a reduction in energy, an increase in irritability and weight gain are all associated with the condition. There are a variety of causes to sleeplessness that include emotions, foods, drinks, too much light, inactive lifestyles and more.

The Solution

So, you’re suffering with sleep – what’s next?

Surprising to some, chiropractic care can increase your ability to get a good night’s rest. By removing internal interferences in the nervous system that can arise from improper alignment, the body’s natural processes can be restored. One of these processes is sleep. In fact, many chiropractic patients report an increase in restful sleep from the very beginning of treatment.

While medication is appropriate in some cases, chiropractic care should be your first step when facing sleep troubles. Ready to get a good night’s rest? Contact LeVan Chiropractic today and set up a consultation. We’re excited to work with you.

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Manipulation Vs. Adjustment

When looking into chiropractic care, you’ve probably come across a variety of terms relating to options, techniques and approaches. One of the most commonly confused set of terms that come up in the chiropractic world are manipulation and adjustment. What’s the difference? Why should you care?

Manipulation

Manipulation relates to a force that is introduced over multiple spinal segments that is intended to mobilize the area. Instead of isolating a specific joint or vertebrae, the goal of manipulation is to provide for global movement.

Manipulation is more of a “one-size-fits-all” motion that acts like an aspirin that’s applied to all patients. Patients are manipulated on one side, then the other, the back and the neck are both treated. Yes, manipulation leads to relief, however, because care is not taken to isolate specific problem areas, the relief is generally short-lived.

Adjustment

Unlike manipulation’s blanket approach, adjustments are specific forms of manipulation that work to target and treat problem areas.

Skilled chiropractors perform detailed examinations and assessments to palpate specific joints to determine conditions that could exist and how to proceed. Based on the initial assessment, a chiropractor can create a treatment plan based around adjustments of specific vertebrae that produce individual results, not blanket results.

Why it Matters to You

You are likely seeking chiropractic care for a specific problem area. Whether you’re suffering from migraines, back pain, a chronic pain condition, sciatic pain or something else, you need relief that fits your individual need, you don’t want something that treats you the same as every other patient. This is where a chiropractor who practices targeted adjustments is essential.

You need care that meets your needs…that will lead to the results you are looking for to live a pain-free life. Contact LeVan Chiropractic to set up a consultation and to learn more about how chiropractic adjustments could benefit you today.

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Migraine Triggers

It’s no secret that migraines negatively affect sufferers and that a migraine can bring everyday life to a complete and sudden stop. While chiropractic care can provide instant and lasting relief to sufferers, there are also certain triggers that have been proven to cause migraines.

In many cases, a combination of targeted chiropractic adjustments and the elimination and avoidance of triggers can reduce the frequency of migraines, sometimes eradicating them altogether.

Proven Triggers

Foods: In many cases, certain ingredients and compounds in foods can trigger migraines. These include aged cheeses, wines, processed meats, refined carbohydrates. Additionally, eating off schedule, allowing blood sugar to drop or changing a regular eating schedule can be triggers along with allowing the body to become dehydrated. To eliminate these triggers, avoid the foods listed above, eat on a consistent schedule and snack regularly with healthy, whole foods.

Stress: In addition to other negative health issues, weight fluctuations and tension headaches, stress can be directly linked to migraines. To avoid stress as a trigger, taking the time to relax, to meditate, to sleep and to exercise are essential.

Environment: In some situations, stress and foods have nothing to do with the onset of migraines. Instead, environmental factors can be at play – sometimes too much sun, a change in the weather, certain smells (like gasoline) and loud noises can contribute to migraines. While some environmental triggers cannot be avoided, understanding their role in migraine headaches and avoiding certain situations can be helpful.

 Acting Accordingly

If you are a migraine sufferer, consider starting a journal. Write down what happened in the day leading up to a migraine headache. Over time, consistencies may become apparent. To take it one step further, consider consulting with an experienced chiropractor, like Dr. Scott LeVan at LeVan Chiropractic for a consultation today. The combination of avoiding triggers and regular chiropractic adjustments can alleviate migraines; the time to act is now.

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Sciatic Leg Pain

Have persistent lower back or leg pain on one side of the body? Is it accompanied by tingling, aching or burning? What about pins and needles in your legs or feet? Did your pain develop slowly and gradually progress? Is the pain made worse by long sessions of sitting, bending, sneezing or another sudden movement? You may be suffering from sciatic leg pain.

What is Sciatic Leg Pain?

The sciatic nerve is the largest and longest nerve in the human body. It emerges from the spine in the lower back and runs down through the buttocks and into the lower leg, where it works to control muscles. It is capable of producing sensations to the entire lower body.

When this nerve becomes irritated or inflamed, the pain it causes is referred to as sciatica, which can be accompanied by a variety of symptoms, including those listed above. Individuals most likely to be affected by sciatic pain include individuals between the ages of 30 and 50; it’s generally caused by wear and tear, not an injury.

Diagnosing and Treating Sciatica

An experienced chiropractor will listen to your symptoms and medical history while asking questions about what movements manifest the symptoms; at this point, they may have an idea of whether or not what you’re experiencing could be related to the sciatic nerve.

From there, they will perform an examination to assess sensory strength and reaction to certain activities while monitoring reflexes, muscle strength and other variables. Based on an in-depth assessment, your chiropractor will be able to rule out other possible issues while providing a plan of action for moving forward.

In many cases, conservative chiropractic treatments can be highly effective in treating sciatic pain. If you’re ready to improve your lifestyle while eliminating pain, it’s time to make a call. Contact LeVan Chiropractic today to discuss options and to set up a consultation. Your life doesn’t need to be limited by pain; make a change today.

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Tips for Working on Your Feet

It’s inevitable, certain professions require extended periods of standing and walking. These high-motion positions, including teachers, workers, warehouse workers and others, can take a toll on the body, starting with the feet. Consider the following tips to maintain good health, even when your job keeps you on the go.

Wear the Right Shoes

If you’re not wearing supportive shoes, are wearing heels or are more focused on fashion than functionality, the rest of your body could suffer. Look for shoes that give you support, this will help your knees, hips and back in the long run. Also, remember to buy new shoes every 3 to 6 months to avoid injuries due to wear.

Watch Your Posture

We’ve discussed the importance of good posture in previous articles. Slouching, arching and other poor posture habits can be detrimental to the health of your spine, causing headaches and other aches and pains, even long term damage. Think about how you walk, especially for long hours at work. Keep your chin and nose forward and horizontal with the ground. Keep your shoulders relaxed and back, instead of slumped forward. Good posture can go a long way toward maintaining a pain free lifestyle in the long run.

Work on Your Core

You don’t need a 6 pack to be healthy. But, you do need a strong core to maintain healthy posture. Try to make a point to keep your abdominal muscles flexed when possible. Add a few core exercises to your regular routine. A strong core provides support to the spine. Do not underestimate this link.

Working on your feet doesn’t mean that pain and suffering is an automatic by-product. By following the tips above and focusing on your health, an active career can be a positive thing. If you’re looking for ways to supplement your own efforts, consider setting up an appointment with Dr. Scott with LeVan Chiropractic today. We look forward to working with you.

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Juicing? Are there Benefits?

Healthy diets and trends come and go. It can be hard to keep up, to know what is actually healthy and what can lead to actual results. Lately, juicing has been on the rise. From television shows to advertisements, it seems like everyone is in on the trend. Is it something worth looking in to? In this case, the answer is yes!

What is Juicing?

Juicing refers to the practice of extracting the juice out of whole fruits and vegetables and using it to supplement a healthy diet. It’s important to note that it is not a diet plan, or a meal replacement; it’s a way to increase the vitamins and minerals you are exposed to on a daily basis.

Unlike juices that can be purchased in the store, juicers that can be purchased and used at home separate the juice of a fruit or vegetable from all parts, including the skin and pulp; this increases nutritional value. The pulp that remains can be used in baking and cooking, so no parts are wasted.

The practice is especially helpful for individuals who have a hard time enjoying fruits and vegetables, or who avoid them altogether.

Benefits of Juicing

Juicing provides essential vitamins and minerals that can help in detoxifying the body, aiding weight loss and increasing overall health and wellness. It’s also a way to help cleanse the body of toxins, providing additional benefits. Antioxidant intake is also increased through the practice. To put it simply: juicing promotes good health in a way that is simple and economical.

Simple Tips

If you’re interested in juicing, keep the following ideas in mind:

  • Clean your juicer and all fruits and vegetable prior to use.
  • Use organic produce when possible.
  • Use fresh fruits and vegetables – the closer to the vine, the more nutrients are present.
  • Store unused juice in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

If you’re looking for a way to increase health benefits, juicing may be an important practice to consider. Talk to Dr. Scott LeVan with LeVan Chiropractic today to learn more.

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Chiropractic Care for Whiplash

You’ve probably heard of whiplash. In fact, in the case of many automobile accidents, it’s’ one of the most commonly sustained neck injuries.

What is Whiplash?

The condition generally occurs as a result of the impact of an accident, where an individual’s neck is forced out of its normal range of motion. The forced motion can cause damage to muscles and other soft tissues in the sufferer’s neck and can become a long-term source of neck and back pain.

In serious cases it can prevent an individual from being able to work, to perform certain movements, from being able to rest comfortably at night and from doing other normal activities.

In other cases, migraine headaches can result from the strain on a person’s neck muscles and nerves. Other issues can also stem from accidents capable of causing whiplash, including herniated discs.

In short, whiplash is an often overlooked, yet serious condition that can greatly impact an individual’s everyday life.

Chiropractic Care for Whiplash

Chiropractors are able to treat whiplash cases and should be your first call if you feel as though you may be suffering from whiplash – the pain should not be ignored.

An experienced chiropractor can work with you through targeted spinal adjustments and other therapies to provide a treatment plan that will benefit you and lead to positive results with pain free movement. Corrective exercises will restore strength while eliminating the source of discomfort.

Are you suffering from whiplash? Are you ready to increase your overall quality of life? Call Dr. Scott with LeVan Chiropractic today. We look forward to working with you while providing high quality care you can trust.

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Wellness: It’s About Commitment

You want to live a longer, healthier life; we all do. But, thinking something is just the start…for a true wellness revolution, a commitment is absolutely critical.

Find What Matters to You

Think through your goals for life. What matters to you? What motivates you? Your friends? Family? Health? Work? Hobby? Think about what gives you energy and makes you look forward to what’s ahead; that’s probably your biggest motivator.

Without careful consideration of what really matters, it’s hard to make a commitment. Think about something you’d like to accomplish for yourself that’s based off of your motivator. Do you want to keep up with your kids without pain? Want to walk a 5k? Spend more time outside? By creating a goal based upon something that already motivates you, you’re taking a step in the right direction.

Commit Every Single Day

Now you’ve committed to a goal. Great. Think about steps that will help you accomplish that goal, what wellness steps can you take today that will push you in the right direction, toward that end goal?

Write them down. Hang them up. Memorize them. Make them part of your daily mantra. Next, recommit every single day. In the morning think about what you’ll take part in during the day that will take you to the next level. At the end of the day, reflect on how you did. Don’t beat yourself up for errors or mistakes, but think about how to course-correct going forward.

Making a commitment toward wellness or any goal is dependent upon daily thought and commitment, make it a part of your routine!

Focus Forward

You’ve set a wellness goal, you have a vision for where you’re going: great. Now, start to enjoy the process! By making yourself your top priority, and committing to a healthier, active lifestyle on a daily basis, you’re focusing on your own potential and pulling from your own strength. Maintaining focus on these areas is essential.

Think about other ways to make your health a priority. Consider the benefits of chiropractic care in working toward your goals. By focusing on wellness, you’ll see results, as long as that focus is accompanied by commitment. What can you commit to today to make your tomorrow a little brighter?

Want to learn more about chiropractic care? Contact LeVan Chiropractic and set up a consultation. Our team will partner with you in setting and achieving wellness goals while making you our top priority.

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Nutrition and Immunity

You see them on the news, you hear about them all around you: illnesses. From epidemics to flu outbreaks and new cancers, the threat to our health is immediate and real. Sometimes it can be hard to keep up with what’s necessary to protect yourself and your family; it can be downright stressful.

It doesn’t have to be.

Sometimes going back to the basics can make the difference between succumbing to various illnesses and diseases. Are you doing what you can to protect yourself and your health?

Diseases and conditions like depression, fatigue, common colds, diabetes, heart disease and even some cancers have direct links to nutritional intake and stress. For this reason, individuals looking to improve their lifestyles should start somewhere simple, with what they’re eating.

Foods demonstrated to increase the body’s immune response include:

  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids. These foods, found in seafood like tuna and salmon help reduce fatigue and inflammation throughout the body, which in turn, increases the body’s ability to fight off certain conditions.
  • Complex Carbohydrates. As a source of energy, these foods, found in whole-wheat pastas and breads and multi-grain snacks can increase the body’s immune response.
  • Foods low in saturated fats. Saturated fats lead to inflammation and other negative health consequences, avoiding foods high in these can help protect against future health issues.
  • Probiotics. Foods like yogurt that have a high quantity of probiotics, or healthy bacteria, are known to keep the intestinal tract free of disease-causing germs.
  • Garlic. Garlic is high in allicin which fights infections and bacteria. It’s been shown to lower the risk of many diseases includint colorectal cancer and stomach cancer.

And many more.

By taking the time to monitor your intake of food and to stock up on foods that increase immunity while eliminating those that work against the body’s ability to fight infection, you’ll be protecting yourself from day one.

Preventative care is important, this is just as true when it comes to the body’s immune system as to anything else. It’s a tenant of chiropractic philosophy. If you’re interested in doing more to protect yourself and your family, set up a consultation with Dr. Scott LeVan of LeVan Chiropractic today. We look forward to working with you.

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Headaches

Headaches are a regular occurrence for many Americans. Whether they’re frequent or rare, dull or throbbing, it’s estimated that 9 out of 10 individuals suffer from them.

When you’re faced with a headache, what do you do? Do you take action? Take a pill? Try to drown out the world in a dark room? There could be a better option.

Spinal manipulation by a doctor of chiropractic medicine may be an effective way to treat and prevent headaches.

An Overview

95% of headaches are primary headaches, not a result of another underlying condition. These include migraines, tension and cluster headaches. They cause pain and can reduce the quality of life and the ability to get through daily activities.

Furthermore, many headaches are associated with tension in the neck or a poorly aligned spine. Whether caused by sitting for prolonged periods of time, poor posture or an underlying issue, joint irritation and muscle tension can lead to headaches.

Dealing With and Preventing Headaches

When faced with a headache, how do you respond?

To prevent headaches, take the time to move every 30 minutes, get up from a desk and stretch, walk around and move your head. This can prevent many headaches. Additionally, regular exercise can prevent headaches and light exercise can relieve certain headaches.

Avoid clenching your teeth and other physical manifestations of stress and drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily. Proper exercise, solid nutrition and an active lifestyle can go a long way in preventing headaches.

The Chiropractic Link

It’s been shown that regular chiropractic care can decrease headache frequencies and overall quality of life. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Chiropractors can perform spinal adjustments that improve functions and alleviate physical stress.
  • They can provide nutritional advice and information on important vitamins for proper functioning.
  • Chiropractors can offer tips for improving posture and various exercises to reduce stress and alleviate joint irritation that can lead to headaches.

If you’re interested in increasing your quality of life by decreasing headaches, contact Dr. Scott LeVan at LeVan Chiropractic today!

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Chiropractic Care and Pregnancy

Pregnancy is not easy, between the stress and the planning coupled with uncomfortable symptoms, it can be downright difficult. In fact, one of the greatest complaints during the 9 months leading up to childbirth relates to back pain and physical discomfort. Studies have shown that over half of expectant moms experience lower back pain at one point or another during their pregnancies.

The Science

It makes sense. During pregnancy, the center of gravity begins to shift forward and the displaced weight begins to put stress on joints. As the baby grows, the weight shifts even more and the curvature of the lower back is increased, which places extra stress on areas that are not accustomed to it. Furthermore, pregnancy hormones loosen the ligaments attached to pelvic bones and throughout the body which can result in additional imbalances and pain.

What You Can Do

There are many recommendations set forth by the International Chiropractic Association. They include:

Exercise

  • During pregnancy, a woman should exercise 3 times a week with gentle stretches before and after. This should be undertaken with the advice of a medical professional.
  • Exercises that are recommended include walking, swimming and stationary cycling. Women who were avid runners prior to pregnancy can continue their routines under medical supervision.
  • The heart rate of a pregnant women should not exceed 140 beats per minute.
  • Exercise should be immediately discontinued with any unusual symptoms.

Safety

  • During pregnancy, wearing flat shoes is best for preventing postural imbalances.
  • When picking up children, pregnant women should bend from the knees, not the waist. Additionally, while lifting, the head should not turn. Heavy lifting should be avoided.
  • Rest! Rest is more critical during pregnancy than any other time. Take the time to nap or to prop up your feet when needed.

Ergonomics

  • Discomfort while sleeping is a top complaint. To avoid it, sleep on one side with a pillow between your knees to take the pressure off of your lower back. Look into body pillows for additional support. It’s recommended that pregnant women sleep on their left sides to allow for unobstructed blood flow and to help the kidneys flush waste from the body.

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care during pregnancy has been proven to help in providing relief from increased lower back pain. It is a safe, effective way to ease discomfort naturally, while increasing the likelihood of a healthy birth and recovery.

Interested in learning more about preventing discomfort during pregnancy? Contact LeVan Chiropractic today. We look forward to working with you toward optimal health at all points in life.

 

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Laws of a Speedy Recovery

Whether you’re recovering from an injury, accident, illness or other condition, you know the basics: take it easy, rest up, follow the doctor’s orders and so on. But, what if there was more you could do to speed your recovery? Rest assured, there is more that can be done. Following are the laws of a speedy recovery.

Eat Healthier

It’s a given. Eating healthier leads to a better sense of overall wellbeing. We talk about this a lot and recovering from an injury is no different. By taking the time to eat whole foods that provide essential nutrients without added preservatives and unnecessary grease, sugar and other additives, you’re helping your body function at its best. This is critical for optimal recovery.

Look for Balance

In most cases, added stress is detrimental to healing. It takes the focus off of recovery and places it on factors that lead to worry, doubt and negative thoughts. Look for ways to reduce stress, especially during the recovery phase. By practicing deep breathing and other relaxation techniques on a regular basis, your recovery speed may increase.

Keep Up Your Activity Level

While certain activities may not be possible during recovery, it’s likely that modifications might be. Staying active  could involve low-impact cardio, targeted strength training, getting outside or simply moving around for a little more time each day. By making an effort to get back to regular activities as soon as possible, you’ll avoid developing negative habits that could hinder recovery.

Finish Your Homework

When a doctor, therapist or chiropractor gives you an assignment, it’s not for their pleasure; it’s to give you the tools to aid on your path to full functionality. Set aside time each day to complete your “homework” assignments with diligence and patience. Don’t rush through it…recovery requires time and energy.

Work with a Professional

If your goal is a speedy, healthy recovery, you need a partner in the process. Discuss your situation with an experienced chiropractor who will make your speedy recovery their top priority, like LeVan Chiropractic. Our team will work with you and listen to your goals while crafting a plan for success.

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The Value of a Strong Immune System

With cold and flu season in full effect, you may feel like avoiding illness is nearly impossible this time of year. However, with the proper precautions, you can boost your immune system, avoiding certain bugs and decreasing the effects of others.

To keep your immune system strong, consider the following options:

Eat Right

By taking the time to eat organic fresh fruits and vegetables regularly – 5 to 8 servings daily – your body is more likely to have the tools to fight inflammation and disease. When eating the proper foods is not a possibility, consider supplements that are designed to lower acidity, decrease inflammation and increase overall immunities. Other supplements to consider include multivitamins and omega 3 fatty acid supplements.

Consistent Chiropractic Care

Regular chiropractic adjustments keep your spine in its optimal position, which affects overall health and wellbeing; this includes an increased immune system. Because the nervous and immune systems are linked, an adjusted, aligned spine leads to a stronger immune system. Check with your chiropractor for a schedule that is optimal for your health, in many cases, weekly adjustments are recommended.

Exercise

Regular exercise isn’t just for cardio and muscular endurance and strength; it’s so much more. In fact, it’s directly linked to a stronger immune system.

By taking the time to exercise regularly – 3 to 6 times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes a day – increases immune system capabilities while reducing stress and negativity.

Sleep

Studies have proven time and time again that individuals who get enough sleep respond with more strength to viruses and illnesses than those who do not. Adults should aim for 6 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. If you wake feeling tired, chances are you are not getting enough sleep, which could weaken your immune system response to illness.

Ready to avoid illness and strengthen your immune system this season? Contact LeVan Chiropractic today. We’ll work with you to create a plan that leads to maximum wellness and fits your needs and schedule. Schedule a consultation today!

 

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Chiropractic Philosophy

Offering a break away from traditional medicine and its limitations, chiropractic care offers holistic, alternative treatment plans that work on an individual’s whole self to lead to an increase in overall health and functionality.

Defined by the principles of D.D. Palmer, the following statements define chiropractic philosophy and why it exists while offering a glimpse at its benefits.

  1. There is a fundamental and important relationship between the spine and health which is mediated through the nervous system.
    The spine is central to the body and to the overall functioning of each and every human being. When one area is “off,” the rest of the body suffers the consequences. It is around this principle that chiropractic care and the idea of healing, starting with the spine, began.
  2. Mechanical and functional disorders of the spine can degrade health.
    From simple back pain to actual manifested disease, spinal dysfunction effects overall health. Chiropractors believe that the human body is extremely sensitive to even the smallest, unnoticed deformations of the spine. Proactive care is key to preventing long-term mal-effects.
  3. Correction of subluxations may bring about a restoration of health.

With the first two principles in mind, this fact pulls the philosophy together. Chiropractors believe that by restoring the spine to its optimal alignment, the body can reach optimal health. This is made possible through regular adjustments and other forms of manual therapy.

With a focus on a central, internal aspect of overall health and wellness, chiropractic philosophy offers a much-needed break from the prescriptions and over-treatments associated with traditional, modern medicine. In some cases, it may supplement these treatments, in others it may serve as a replacement.

By working with a chiropractor trained in the latest technologies yet rooted in the three basic principles outlines above, individuals are able to reach higher levels of wellness than ever before. Ready to make a change? Contact LeVan Chiropractic today for a consultation.

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Could Chiropractic Care Help Your Headaches?

So often, people think of a chiropractor for back pain and injuries. They are unaware of the other health benefits of regular chiropractic care. In fact, when someone struggles with frequent headaches, they’re much more likely to turn to prescriptions and over-the-counter remedies (which can backfire and lead to side effects) than to a more natural option that may be more effective.

When you understand the cause of headaches, it makes more sense. It’s estimated that 95% of all headaches originate or stem from neck tension. Whether they’re classified as cluster headaches, migraine headaches or tension headaches, the neck is generally the route cause.

Using spinal adjustment techniques, skilled chiropractors are able to help realign the spinal column of headache sufferers (and those with other aches and pains), alleviating swelling and tension placed on the discs of the spine. Furthermore, a chiropractor may be able to suggest other lifestyle changes to provide long-term headache relief.

In addition to chiropractic care, there are other ways to decrease headache frequency including:

  • Taking a break from the computer desk every 30 minutes to an hour in order to stretch and walk around.
  • Taking part in low-impact exercise on a regular basis.
  • Drinking a minimum of eight 8-ounce glasses of water on a daily basis.

If you or a loved one suffers from regular headaches, there may be relief in sight. Contact Dr. Scott LeVan at LeVan Chiropractic today to learn more. We look forward to working with you for a more healthy tomorrow.

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The Importance of Water

When looking for ways to improve overall health, many people overlook an important piece to the puzzle…water.

Our bodies are primarily composed of water (55-60% for the average human adult), and as such, it affects every part of our daily functioning. What you may not be aware of is this: parts of the body especially susceptible to dehydration are spinal discs and cartilage. When spinal discs are dehydrated, the spine is unable to support the body in the way it is designed to. Because of this, a lack of water can lead to back pain – who would have thought?

Water also regulates other vital functions: blood circulation, digestive processes and more. A lack of water can lead to headaches, dehydration, kidney stones, fatigue and much more. Therefore, drinking enough water is essential to optimal functioning.

How much water is enough? Research findings vary, however the Institute of Medicine’s latest suggestion is around 3 liters a day for men, and 2.2 liters per day for women.

Are you getting enough? If not, below are a few tips to increase your water intake:

  • Start your day with a large glass of water.
  • Make it a habit to take a break each hour at work to walk around (good for stretching) and to grab a cup of water while you’re up.
  • Add lemon or other fruit. If you’re not naturally inclined to enjoy a glass of water, add a natural flavor to help.
  • Start small. Slowly, increase your intake until the recommended amount is part of your daily routine.

Interested in other ways to naturally increase your overall health? Contact Dr. Scott LeVan at LeVan Chiropractic today!

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The Link Between Foods and Inflammation

It’s a well-known fact that inflammation in the body leads to negative results. From pain to stiffness and fatigue, inflammation can decrease the quality of life for anyone in a hurry. But, what about the role of foods in causing inflammation? There may be more of a link than you’ve previously considered.

Inflammation’s general warning sign is pain. Whether it arises from an injury or tissue trauma or from something else entirely, it’s never positive. In fact, inflammation plays a key role in the pain associated with arthritis, back injuries and pain, digestive disorders and headaches. It’s even been shown to increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers and dementia. The bottom line? Decreasing inflammation can increase overall health.

Avoiding certain foods while increasing the intake of others may be helpful in this area.

Foods to avoid because of their role in promoting inflammation include:

  • High sugar foods (white breads, pastas, etc). Instead, focus on eating whole grains.
  • Processed foods with ingredients (usually artificial colors and preservatives) that you cannot pronounce or identify.
  • Trans fats.
  • Red meat.
  • Alcohol.
  • Dairy.
  • Wheat.

This can be difficult, especially with the foods readily available here in the United States. But, by taking a look at the foods you eat, and making an effort – one step at a time – to make changes, you could begin to see progress.

Foods that help reduce inflammation include:

  • Ginger.
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids (think avocados, fish, walnuts, cashews, chia seeds, sesame seads and more).
  • Fruits and veggies.
  • Turmeric.

Look for ways to incorporate a few of these into your diet today!

If you’re interested in learning about other options for decreasing inflammation, it may be time to talk to a professional. The team at LeVan Chiropractic can assess your health needs and create a plan to help you achieve optimal health starting today. Contact us to get started.

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Goal Setting

Goal Setting

Living healthy isn’t always about physical health. Learning to live with a healthy mindset is just as important. One of the ways to make this happen is to make a habit of setting healthy goals and taking steps to achieve them.

Goals can relate to any aspect of life: relationships, health, security, community, overall purpose, professional priorities or even the environment. You should think about the areas in your life in which you’d like to make improvements, become more efficient or achieve a certain end. From there, goal setting is the next step.

Think About Your Priorities

Thinking about end goals and results is the best way to set a goal. Think about where you are now and what you’d like to improve. Do not get bogged down by the negative, instead, think about your strengths and how you can use them to your advantage. If you’d like to lose weight and love to cook, think about how you can use that strength to find the right foods to aid in your end goal. If you’d like to raise money for a cause and are a people person, think of unique fundraising opportunities that allow you to connect with potential donors.

Prioritize and consider the tools you already have at your disposal to make your goals a reality.

Establish Benchmarks

Instead of looking at your goal as one, huge achievement, consider the steps that will help you reach that goal. Establish small, achievable benchmarks that will help you accomplish your overall goal and reward yourself when you meet them. Small steps are critical to big leaps.

Think About Your Setbacks

When setting a goal of any sort, it’s important to be honest. Consider things that have prevented you from meeting your goal in the past. What has hindered you? By taking the time to make an honest assessment up front, you will be able to overcome your obstacles. Setting a few benchmarks that specifically address these areas will be helpful.

Center Goals Around Specific Activities and Dates

If a goal does not have a timeline, it’s not likely to happen. Think about specific activities that could help in achieving your goals and use a calendar to mark them down, ensuring you’ll follow through. Use a planner to stay on track. If you experience a setback, rework your system and continue to move forward.

Goal setting can be a challenge. But, it can also be one of the most rewarding aspects of achieving a healthy lifestyle. Want to learn more about goal setting? Contact LeVan Chiropractic today to prioritize your health goals and to work toward what you’d like to accomplish.

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Living with a Healthy Back

Life should be enjoyed. More importantly, it should be enjoyed without pain. In fact, pain shouldn’t hinder you from taking part in any activities you desire. But, for many people, maybe yourself included, this is not the case. Pain, specifically back pain, may hinder the activities you are able to participate in, or may make normal movements seem impossible. This doesn’t have to be the case: living with a healthy back can and should be your reality.

According to the International Chiropractic Association, 13.1 million Americans suffer from back pain at any given time making it the leading cause of disability worldwide and is one of the most common causes of missed work days. It is not an isolated problem.

There is hope. Below are a few ways to start living with a healthy back.

Chiropractic Care

Looking into chiropractic care is the first step to living with a healthy back. Chiropractors use gentle, targeted spinal adjustment as a safe, effective tool for alleviating pain. Choosing this route saves traditional medical costs, reduces pain, decreases pain medication dependence for activity and helps lead to a normal, healthy life.

A chiropractor can work with you to learn the root cause of your pain and to provide a treatment plan that helps you reach your activity goals. From being able to sit or stand without pain to playing golf or tennis again, back pain can be a thing of the past.

Other Ways to Prevent Back Pain

In addition to the care of a professional, experienced chiropractor there are lifestyle modifications that have been shown to decrease back pain. They include:

  • Maintaining a healthy diet and weight.
  • Remaining active (as directed by a doctor or chiropractor).
  • Avoiding inactivity for prolonged periods of time.
  • Learning proper stretching for before and after activity.
  • Maintaining a proper posture.
  • Getting a proper amount of sleep on a supportive mattress.
  • Practicing proper lifting techniques.
  • Avoiding or quitting smoking.

If you’re ready to live with a healthy back and to reduce your pain and discomfort, contact LeVan Chiropractic today for a consultation.

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