Train Safely and Get Stronger This Summer

The summer is a time when high school and college athletes focus on strength training to improve themselves for their upcoming seasons. Strength training improves the strength of muscles, tendons and even ligaments and bones, but when athletes dedicate themselves to a strength training program, the possibility of injury can increase.

 

Injury prevention is something that is often overlooked by younger athletes. The most common types of athletic injuries are muscle imbalances. When one muscle becomes stronger than its opposing group, the weaker ones become fatigued quicker and are more susceptible to injury. The weaker muscle can have a hard time counteracting the force that the stronger muscle is applying to it.

 

A balanced strength training program will help to counter these effects by strengthening weaker muscles to balance them with their counterparts. There are some precautions to look out for when starting a strength training program.

Use Proper Form

Keep your body in proper alignment while exercising to minimize injury chances. Start with light weights or resistance and develop proper form. Increase your resistance in small increments and only when the desired number of reps can be performed in the correct form.

 

Be Sure to Rest

Taking a break plays a key role in the efficiency of the program you start. Performing strength training exercises for the same muscle groups without proper rest between sessions can definitely lead to overtraining. When your muscles are overtrained, they are more likely to be unable to repair properly and less ready to work. Muscles become stronger when they are properly rested.

 

Warm Up Properly

Taking the time to warm up your muscles and tendons helps prepare them for what’s to come. Without a proper stretch or warm-up, muscles and tendons may become tight and stiff. This can lead to a lasting injury.

Become Flexible

If you become flexible enough, you can prevent strength training injuries. Flexible muscles and tendons perform better. If muscles are tight and stiff, it’s easier for them to be pushed beyond their natural range of movement. To keep your muscles flexible, be sure to start a flexibility training program.

 

If you do injure yourself, the doctors at 360 Chiropractic can help you get back on the right track. To schedule an appointment, call us at 320-257-0360. We can help you turn your health around!

Fun and Healthy Ways to Get Active in the Spring

Now that we have had a small taste of spring weather, we bet that you are getting excited to fully enjoy the warmer weather, longer days, and bright sunshine of spring. After months of cold, we tend to most excited to get outdoor in the spring. If you are looking for some activities to help acclimate you to the warmer weather, get started with our suggestions below.

Start Fresh with Produce

There’s no better way to prepare your household for a new season than by spring cleaning. Purge your household of unwanted items, deep clean every nook and cranny, and organize your home. (Check out this comprehensive cleaning checklist.)This can reinvigorate you with a fresh new outlook! Remember to take a look outside to see how you can begin prepping your yard for a beautiful summer outdoors.

Try New Recipes with Newly In-Season Produce

Speaking of gardening, now is a good time to reintroduce yourself to fresh fruits and vegetables. Tons of fruits and vegetables are best in spring, including bananas, avocados, asparagus, and radishes. Bring some new vegetables and fruits to your dinner table this season with some new springtime recipes.

Prep your Garden

If you are an avid gardener, you may have already started laying the groundwork for your garden, but if you haven’t yet started, now may be the perfect time to prep your garden. Clear your garden of weeds, old debris, and bad soil, and compile all your tools, seeds, and bulbs.

Explore a New Trail

Whether you walk, hike, or bike, the mild weather of spring is the perfect time to test out a new trail. Make an event of out it and grab some friends to explore a new area. Regular walks, hikes, and biking excursions can be a low-impact way to get back into the swing of things, and it can be an excellent way to warm up those muscles for late spring and summer sports.

Spend your Weekends Outdoors

Resist the urge to start your Saturday morning on the couch. Instead, grab a community calendar to what events are near you. Head to a farmer’s market, take on yoga or a picnic in the park, soak up the sun at a baseball game, or enjoy lunch on an outdoor patio. Make the best out every weekend!

Resolve to Get Outside!

From afternoon walks to flying a kite, make the effort to spend some time outside. Put the effort into organizing a recreational activity with a group of friends or join an adult sports team. Soaking up some vitamin D can rejuvenate your senses and energize you for a new season.

Many of these activities will get your body moving and active on a regular basis, and they are excellent activities to gear yourself up for a warm weather sport or a summer of adrenaline-inducing adventure. Remember that taking the time to be active in your day will keep you healthy, happy, and motivated.  As with any fitness endeavor, make sure to stretch properly to prevent muscle strain, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, keep a nutritious diet in order to stay healthy and strong, and take plenty of time to rest.

 

For more information about taking care yourself all year round and tips on spring and summer activities, like or follow the 360 Chiropractic Facebook page.

 

How to Properly Shovel Snow to Prevent Injury

Injuring yourself while shoveling snow is one of the easiest ways to end up in a chiropractor’s office. Many people don’t realize they should stretch and warm up their body before heading out into the cold to shovel, especially when the snow is of the heavy and wet variety.

Here are some ways you can prevent injuries while shoveling snow this winter:

 

  1. Pick the right shovel. Buy a shovel with a curved handle or that has an adjustable length. This can help diminish straining your back, as it requires you to bend your knees and arch your back while keeping the shovel on the ground.

  2. Warm up your muscles. Start by stretching and doing some light exercise to get your heart rate going. Focus on stretches that will loosen up your back, arms, and legs. Cold, tighter muscles are more prone to injury. Make sure to walk around and even do some jumping jacks to get your muscles warmed up.

  3. Use proper lifting techniques. Make sure to push the snow to one side instead of always lifting it. The more you push the snow, the less likely you are to hurt yourself. Always face your body toward the pile you want to lift. When you start to lift the snow, bend at the hips, not the lower back. Push your chest out, point forward and bend your knees while lifting your leg muscles. Always keep your back straight.

  4. Keep your piles of snow light. Don’t lift an object that is out of your realm of strength. If you have to lift a heavy pile, make sure you grip the shovel with one hand as close to the blade as possible. Always make sure to avoid twisting your back and make sure your body is going in the same direction. Keep the heaviest part of the snow close to your body. Do not extend your arms to toss the snow.

  5. Take breaks. Overdoing it and shoveling the snow all at once can cause some serious problems. If you feel tired or that your heart is racing, take a break. If you feel overworked or that you have hurt your back, be sure to take the time to stretch your arms, shoulders and back to stay flexible and warm.

  6. Be careful not to fall. It can be slippery out there, especially while shoveling snow. Be sure to wear proper boots or shoes to minimize the possibility of slipping on ice or snow. Spread salt, sand or even kitty litter on your driveway and walkway to increase traction to reduce the possibility of slipping.

If you do injure yourself, the doctors at 360 Chiropractic can help you get back on the right track. To schedule an appointment, call us at 320-257-0360. We can help you turn your health around!

 

Four Ways to Treat Tech-Neck

Tech-neck is a term that refers to the strain in your neck and shoulder muscles that develop from craning your neck down too often when you are looking at a phone, tablet, or computer. This unnatural position can also result in neck aches, stiff shoulders, overall body soreness, and damage to your spine. In order to remedy tech-neck, take a look at our four tips below:

Log Off and Unplug

Despite what you might believe, it is entirely possible to reduce the time that you need to spend on your phone. Log off and unplug in order to prevent some serious strain on your neck. Setting personal limits on the time you spend on your phone can help in a variety of ways. You can also think about deleting unnecessary apps on your phone. Trendy gaming apps come and go; yes, they seem like fun at first, but your neck and shoulders will thank you for it in the long run.  

Adjust Your Posture

Rather than lounging back and looking down at your phone, bring the phone up to eye level. This will help keep your spine aligned and reduce the strain on your muscles overall. It may feel awkward if this is not your regular routine, but you will become accustomed over time.

Take Care of Your Neck

More than just your spine is affected by improper technology posture; your skin can suffer as well. Your skin needs help to look healthy and to prevent the effects of aging. Be sure to drink plenty of water, moisturize, and eat your vitamins. Use your fingers to gently massage your neck and get some blood circulating. A little TLC will go a long way in having a healthy beautiful neck.

Exercise Often

Regular exercise can help your body in numerous ways. Finding specific exercises to target your neck and shoulder muscles will help relieve strain from overactive muscles. Consider the following stretches:

  • Bend your neck to the right so that your ear nearly touches your shoulder. Relax and hold for 20 seconds. Return to center, and then repeat the move to the left. Do a repetition of five.
  • Do a simple chin tuck. Tilt your hard down and tuck your chin into your neck. Hold for five seconds, and then look back up. Do a repetition of ten.
  • Do a simple seated neck release. Sit in a crossed-legged position on the floor. Place your hand on top of your head and tilt your head to the left. Apply gentle pressure to deepen your stretch. Hold for 30 seconds, and return to resting position. Repeat on the other side. Do 6 repetitions.
  • Do a yoga bridge. This classic exercise will help you engage in a deep stretch that will work your neck, shoulders, and upper back. To learn how to do a yoga bridge, watch this video.

When it comes to your health, be sure to listen to your body. If you have aches and pains in your neck and shoulders, it usually means something is not working correctly. Preventing tech neck is much easier than treating it, so keep these tips in mind.

For more information on chiropractic health, visit our website to learn what you can expect from 360 Chiropractic.

 

Help Your Kids Live an Active Lifestyle

Help Your Kids

Summer is the season for high-energy activities and new adventures! How is your family keeping active this summer? Help them build healthy habits, develop goals for their physical and mental health, and encourage them to carry these goals with them into adulthood. Take a look below for some ideas to encourage your kids to be healthy and active this summer.

Make it fun, but also non-negotiable
Physical exams, brushing twice a day, wearing a helmet while biking or a seatbelt while driving are all regular routines in your child’s day. Why shouldn’t regular physical activity be? Make fitness and activity a priority; no if’s, and’s, or but’s, about it. Explain to your kids the importance of being healthy and being active, and find activities that are so fun that they don’t realize they are exercising. Enroll them in karate lessons, visit a trampoline park or take swinging trapeze lessons together. Go parasailing or scuba diving if on a beach vacation. Make exercise fun and adrenaline-inducing.

Getting healthier starts in the kitchen
Setting a goal to eat healthier doesn’t necessarily mean eliminating all junk food and eating a strict diet. Incorporate healthy superfoods that are full of nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants and decrease your family’s intake of high-processed foods that contain tons of additives and chemicals. Keep healthy snacks available—think blueberries, hard boiled eggs, and string cheese,—and at eye-level so your kids will have full access to them. Encourage water over sugary juices and soda. Encourage the kids to help you experiment with healthy and new recipes like these fresh fruit rainbow popsicles.

Limit screen time
It’s far too easy for kids to spend hours watching television or playing on phones, computers, video games, and iPads. Encourage them to find other ways to stave off boredom. Play outside, shoot some hoops or go on a walk with the dog. Set more structured activities like a week away at camp or an active play date with friends at the park.

Make health and activity a priority for the entire family
It’s much easier for a child to lead a healthy and active lifestyle if they have healthy and active role models. Incorporate fun activities into your time together as a family. Go hiking together on Sunday afternoons. Enjoy healthy swimming competitions at the lake. Explore new neighborhoods while biking together. Take part in a marathon (adult and kid runs), competition or charity walks together.

Enroll in summer sports leagues
Sports help kids engage in regular exercise during the summer, and they teach excellent skills that kids may not learn in the classroom. Your child can learn how to be a team member and leader, plus they can learn about the virtues of hard work, commitment, dedication, and patience.

Encourage healthy views on their bodies
A child may not remember a nutritious and organic meal of roasted vegetables and potatoes hours after they eat, but they will remember stinging comments about their weight. Encourage your child to develop a healthy body image. Let them know that every person is different, and encourage them to focus on finding strength and health within their own bodies. And again, model healthy attitudes about health, fitness, food, and self-esteem for your children.
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At 360 Chiropractic, we want to help encourage your kids to lead healthy and active lives, and that’s precisely the reason why we are sponsoring a Healthy Kids Day on Tuesday, July 12. Join us for health screenings, health demonstrations, nutritious refreshments, fun inflatables, and more! Meet members of the Sartell Police and Fire Department as well as some local health professionals. For more information, head over to 360 Chiropractic.

This season is an excellent time to make some serious health goals with your family. Join them on a mission to get healthier and more active as a family!

Preventing Golf Injuries

Preventing Golf Injuries

The warm weather season is in full swing in Minnesota and the golf courses are open! Whether you are an avid golfer or a beginner, it is important to know how to play the game without pain.

Golf is considered a low-impact sport; however, much like any sport, proper mechanics and technique can go a long way. The most common injuries, according to the Mayo Clinic, involve the lower back, elbow, wrist and shoulder. These injuries are mostly due to overuse and/or poor mechanics. To enjoy a safe, golf-filled summer, here are a few quick tips on how to prevent injuries from golfing:

  1. Use Proper Equipment

This goes for your clubs as well as your shoes. Clubs that are fitted to your body will aid correct posture, technique, and alignment while alleviating the risk of injury (and perhaps lowering your handicap). Proper fitting shoes provide support for the rest of your body. Not only will you be walking from hole to hole, but It is also recommended to purchase golf shoes with short cleats, which will provide less strain on your feet and ankles.

  1. Warm Up

Just like any other physical activity, warming up your muscles is extremely important. It generates blood flow and increases lubrication in the joints. By doing so, you lower the risk of muscle or joint injury while swinging your club or walking the course. Here is a quick 2 minute warm-up by Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher, Scott Munroe.

  1. Use Proper Golfing Techniques
  • Don’t overswing – Trying to be a hitter like Arnold Palmer may not be your best tactic. Hitting the ball too hard or too fast can strain your joints and stress your spine. Keep your swing consistent and steady – a smooth swing is more controlled. Here are some tips for the perfect swing.
  • Swing correctly – Not only do you want to avoid overswinging, but you want to use proper technique. If you are just starting out, you might benefit from taking a lesson or two on proper swing technique.   
  • Lift your clubs carefully – The average golf bag weighs 35 pounds. Without proper mechanics, one can easily throw out their back by simply lifting their bag incorrectly. To further prevent this, look into getting yourself a caddie.
  1. If you are Injured, Stop Immediately

Further playing – no matter how minor the injury may seem – will only exacerbate the injury and lead to further damage. Stop, rest, and seek medical advice.

  1. Stay Educated

This goes far beyond golfing techniques. Educating yourself will not only prevent injury but it can also improve your game.

 

Our biggest secret is to schedule a visit to 360 Chiropractic before you head out on the course! Chiropractic care has been linked to injury prevention and a playing advantage for golfers. During the season, if you do happen to throw something out of whack or don’t feel like you’re hitting your best, we will always be here to help!

Golf is a wonderful game that provides fresh air, exercise, and companionship among many other benefits. Take these tips to heart, and have a fun and safe summer.

We hope you have a wonderful summer on the range!

 

Gardening Without Back Pain

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Outdoor enthusiasts and green-thumbed gardeners all over the state are once again preparing for another season doing the things they love. Whether you’re gardening, fixing up the house or doing yard work, you’re bound to be moving your body in ways it hasn’t moved since last summer.

At 360 Chiropractic, one of the biggest summertime complaints we get is back pain. In fact, 8 out of 10 people suffer from back pain at least once in their lives, but there are simple ways to prevent this. So whether you’re planting the garden of your dreams or simply taking care of your home, here are a few tips on doing it right without the fear of back pain:

  1. Warm Up Your Muscles. Just like before any workout, you’ll want to warm up. Warming up your body increases blood flow to your muscles and decreases the likelihood of injury or soreness. For a few simple ideas, here are 5 Best Moves to Warm Up, or you can simply take a brisk walk around the yard — anything to get your blood moving!
  1. Drink Water! So often we forget to hydrate our muscles! Dehydration can cause cramps, headaches, and yes, back pain. Not only is dehydration a serious issue you’ll want to avoid, but drinking water boosts energy, maximizes physical performance, and a ton of other positive things to maintain and improve your health.
  1. Use Proper Body Mechanics. The most important tip we could give is to make sure you’re bending, lifting and twisting properly. Remember to lift with your legs, keep your body aligned, and use your body weight for leverage instead of muscling hard against shovel, hoes, and rakes. You can see the proper body mechanics techniques on lifting, digging, weeding and mowing in action right here.

For more pain-free gardening tips, refer to Christianhospital.org, which not only gives you some fun tips on gardening, but also some additional warm up exercises. You may also want to check out Natural Wellness Girl, who offers great tips on gardening and proper techniques.

We want you to have a fun and safe summer this season, and the best way to do that is by protecting your body. So please take care of your body just as well as you take care of your garden. Don’t forget to take breaks and wear sunscreen. Now, put on your gardening gloves and sun hat and get digging!

You wouldn’t take a cross-country summer car trip with your family without a trip to your trusted mechanic to avoid a breakdown. So before you head into your yard, see your favorite chiropractors at 360 for a spring tune-up to help you avoid injuries. Your body will thank you!

The Activator Method at 360 Chiropractic

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At 360 Chiropractic, we encourage natural methods of treatment as a safe and effective alternative to surgery and prescription medications. That is why we chose the Activator Method along with acupuncture, physical therapy and massage therapy for our choice of treatment.

The Activator Method is one of the most widely researched chiropractic techniques. It has been researched for over 20 years and has more than 100 published papers on the technique. You can learn more about some of the clinical trials that were conducted here.

Screenshot (221)How it Works

The activator distributes low force adjustments directly to the body. As it moves, it helps realign the joints, relax tight muscles, and reduce pain and nerve irritation. Three factors are involved in the success of the Activator Method:

  1.    Low Force: The Activator is considered “low force” because it does not require the patient’s body or spine to be “twisted”- as done in a manual manipulation – thus offering a gentle and safe form of treatment.
  1.    Speed: Our muscles naturally react to outside forces by tensing up – it’s a reflex that occurs without our control. The Activator produces an impulse that is quicker than the body’s reflexes, which means your body can be treated before your natural responses kick in, which improves the effectiveness of the treatment.
  1.    A Variety of Patients: Every patient is unique in age and size. The activator allows an accurate and controlled course of treatment that is effective no matter your individuality. This allows us to treat all patients with proficiency.

What to Expect

If it is your first visit, the chiropractor will perform an exam. In this test, the chiropractor will assess your spinal joint dysfunction, analyze postural distortions, review x-rays and/or MRI results (if applicable or necessary), pinpoint problems with body mechanics, and test neurological reflexes. After the initial assessment is completed, the chiropractor can determine the best course of treatment.

After the initial patient exam, the chiropractor will conduct a functional leg length test to determine whether or not your have lumbopelvic, insufficient stability, which involves pelvic rotation and the appearance of a “short leg”. This evaluation is based on the theory that differences in leg length may indicate where vertebral misalignments are present, and a shorter leg indicates that the body may be compensating.

Once the functional leg length test is complete, the chiropractor will perform a series of simple muscle tests to activate the muscles that are attached to a specific vertebra. These combined tests allow the chiropractor to determine exactly where the activator needs to be implemented.

 

360 Chiropractic is the only chiropractic clinic in the area that is fully certified and trained to use the Activator Method. Each patient is unique and may respond differently to the prescribed form of treatment, and at 360 Chiropractic will do our very best to adjust accordingly.

For more information about 360 Chiropractic, visit our website.

Safe Winter Driving Tips

 

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There hasn’t been a lot of snow on the ground this winter in Central Minnesota, but we all know that will change eventually. When the snow hits, driving can become very hazardous. The last thing 360 Chiropractic wants is to see you in our office with injuries from winter driving. Here are some simple tips to help you become a better driver when the white stuff starts to fly:

  • Drive slow; don’t press on the gas pedal too hard. You want to accelerate and decelerate slowly – it’s the proper method to gain traction and avoid skids. Take your time when you see a stoplight. It always takes longer to slow down on slick roads. The best way to stop with your brakes is by using threshold braking. Take the heel of your foot and use it to apply firm, but steady pressure on the pedal.
  • If you can avoid stopping, do it. You want to avoid rolling into a traffic light as it changes at all costs. There’s a big disparity in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving again from a full stop against how much it takes to get moving while rolling.
  • Don’t go up hills at a fast pace. Your wheels will just keep spinning on roads covered with snow if you hit the gas too fast. Get a little speed going before you reach a hill and keep that pace if you can. When you reach the top of the hill, take your speed down and go down the hill as slow as you can.
  • Avoid driving when you’re tired. 
  • Always make sure your tires are properly inflated to the car’s specified PSI (pounds per square inch). Look on the inside of the driver’s side door or in your car’s manual to find out what your tire PSI should be. Typically, the correct PSI is around 32-35.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid your line freezing in extremely cold temperatures.
  • Avoid using your parking brake whenever possible in cold, rainy and snowy weather.
  • Don’t use cruise control when driving on snow-covered roads.
  • Always pack a winter survival kit (blankets, gloves, hats, food, and water) in your trunk just in case you go off the road during a snowstorm.
  • Always wear your seat belt – no explanation necessary.
  • If you go off the road, stay in your car. It provides shelter and makes it easier for people to find you. Don’t try to walk to safety in a snowstorm, you’re asking for trouble if you do. It’s very easy to get lost if you start to walk away from your car.
  • Don’t try to dig your car out of the snow if you know there’s no chance of you getting it out yourself.
  • Make sure your exhaust pipe isn’t clogged with snow, ice or mud. A blocked exhaust pipe could lead to carbon monoxide leaking into the passenger compartment while the engine runs.

If you get into an accident, the force of the collision can cause your head and neck to pitch forward, resulting in whiplash. Whiplash can damage the soft tissues of your neck, straining the muscles and the ligaments in that part of your body beyond their normal range of motion. A lot of times, we ignore a little soreness or stiffness. We assume it’ll just go away over time, but, whiplash can actually leave you with some serious issues if not properly cared for. Some symptoms to watch for, besides physical pain include: blurry vision, difficulty swallowing, irritability, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, ringing in the ears and vertigo.

 

It’s perfectly normal to feel pain and stiffness in your neck and back after a whiplash incident. You might even start feeling better quickly. BUT, if you experience the recurrence of these symptoms after a few days, you might want to get yourself in for an evaluation.


Here at 360 Chiropractic, our ultimate goal is to help you feel your very best — if you’ve been in a collision, don’t wade in pain; get help!

 

Patient Appreciation Week July 2015

In an ongoing effort to support the St. Cloud community as well as our patients, 360 Chiropractic held a Customer Appreciation Week from July 13-17. We feel honored to be able to offer this event and to give back to those in need.

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Happy Healthy Kids Day was a free event held on July 14. We partnered with other amazing local businesses, including Nemeth Orthodontics, Medical Arts Dental, Rejuv Medical, and PineCone Vision Center for a family-friendly event.

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Health screenings and demonstrations were available, as well as giant inflatables for the kids and refreshments for all. Those who attended were able to meet members of the Sartell Police and Fire Departments.

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Patient Appreciation Day was July 16 and it was all about our amazing patients! We offered free chair massages, delicious BBQ, mini reflexology sessions, fitness challenges, and free adjustments for current patients with a $10 donation to Anna Marie’s Alliance! With the amazing generosity of our patients, combined with the amount raised with other funds, a total of $3,057 to Anna Marie’s Alliance.

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We thank you all for your participation in Customer Appreciation Week and for helping us give back to our wonderful community.