Northwest Wellness's Blog

Useful information for a healthy lifestyle.

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Chiropractic care during pregnancy

Chiropractic care during pregnancy

Pregnant women receive a lot of great benefits from chiropractic care.  Women who receive regular chiropractic care are taking care of their nervous system. A better nervous system helps the body be better prepared to handle childbirth.  When the nervous system is working optimally, the whole body works better.  During pregnancy, women’s body’s go through a series of physical and hormonal changes.  It is important to take care of the body with regular chiropractic care.

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Britt's Tips: Posture and the Rear View Mirror Trick

Britt's Tips: Posture and the Rear View Mirror Trick

We all have busy, hectic lives, rarely allowing time to take care of ourselves. Being able to sneak in stretches and exercises wherever possible is key. Often our car commute is the only time we’re not overburdened with work, chasing after kids, taking care of the house, or sleeping. Let’s take advantage of this quiet time and apply one of my favorite postural improvement tips.

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What Is Northwest Wellness?

What Is Northwest Wellness?

Northwest Wellness is the lifetime vision of Dr. Lorri Nichols of Federal Way, WA.  Beginning as a small chiropractic practice in 1989, Northwest Wellness has grown into a multidisciplinary, integrated practice providing comprehensive health care to Federal Way and the surrounding community.  Our practice consists of primary care, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage therapy, naturopathic medicine, acupuncture, nutrition and weight loss to serve all of your health care needs.

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Stretches for low back and hip tightness

Stretches for low back and hip tightness

There are plenty of reasons for low back and hip discomfort. Different diagnoses, muscle, disc or nerve involvements and pathologies require specific movements and modifications. Rather than getting into those details or specifics, I’m going to touch on general stretches for the lower extremity, hips and lumbar spine. These are basics that each and every one of us should be doing to maintain good range of motion, tissue flexibility, improve trunk posture and find relief from tension and tightness.

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Exercises For A Fit Pregnancy - 5 Top Favorites

Exercises For A Fit Pregnancy - 5 Top Favorites

Daily cardio is important for maintaining a healthy pregnancy: Walking, stationary bike, swimming, elliptical, hiking, cardio classes, yoga, and Pilates are all great options as long as heart rate is regulated (ideally staying within 150 beats/min) and the instructors are well versed in prenatal precautions. It’s also highly beneficial to include strength training into a pregnancy routine. Advantages include pain prevention, improved activity endurance, efficient and productive child labor and easier return to pre-baby body. 

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How To Prevent Back Pain

How To Prevent Back Pain

Eighty percent of all adults will experience and episode of lower back pain during their lifetime.  For some individuals this will become a chronic condition that can become debilitating.  Here are some tips to avoid back pain and take good care of your spine:

·         Sit with Proper Posture-Shoulders back with your lower back slightly curved forward.  You can also use a lower back cushion for extra support.

·         Avoid Prolonged Sitting-If your job requires you to sit for eight hours per day be sure to stand up, stretch and walk around every hour.

·         Bend At Your Hip-When bending over,  hinge at your hips while keeping your back straight rather than bending in the lower back.

·         Use Proper Lifting Techniques- Hold the item close to your body, engage your core and bend at the knees or the hips.

·         Sleep on the Proper Mattress in the Correct Position-A mattress should be firm enough to support your weight but have a soft enough cover to cushion your body.  Sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees or on your back with a pillow under your knees.

·         Avoid An Inflammatory Diet –Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, healthy fats and healthy proteins.  Avoid sugar and processed foods.

·         STOP SMOKING-smoking inhibits blood flow, weakens your bones and breaks down the cushioning disks between the bones of the spine.

·         Exercise Regularly – Walk, swim, cycle, stretch and lift weights.  These activities promote flexibility, strength and circulation which will keep your spine healthy.

·         Maintain a Healthy Weight- carrying extra weight will stress the joints of the spine as well as the knees and ankles causing degeneration and pain.

For more information on avoiding back pain and maintaining a healthy spine call Northwest Wellness in Federal Way, WA at 2539270660

 

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How To Bend Without Hurting Your Back

How To Bend Without Hurting Your Back

 

One of the more common things I see in practice are patients who report an acute onset of lower back pain when they bend over to pick up something small, like a pencil or a sheet of paper.  Clearly, the object being retrieved is not the source of the lower back pain as in a lifting injury, but rather the biomechanics of how the repeatedly bend throughout the day.   I also have patients that by teaching them to bend properly, reduced the incidence of acute lower back pain by 80% last year.

So what is the big bending secret?  Most people have the tendency to bend forward by rounding their lower back or lumbar spine.  This motion reverses the normal lumbar curve and places undo stress on the lumbar vertebra and discs.  The intervertebral discs are made up of two sections; the soft gelatinous nucleus pulposis and the strong, fibrous annulus.  Over time, with the biomechanical stress place by improper bending the annulus may become frayed and the nucleus with protrude through causing a disc bulge or herniation.  Bending in the lumbar spine also puts strain on the lumbar musculature and can cause a muscle strain or spinal segmental dysfunction.

To bend properly you should “hinge” at your hips rather than rounding the lumbar spine.  By doing so, you use the large ball and socket joints of the hip that are designed for this type of motion.  Hinging at the hips allows for maximum, efficient motion and spares the structures of the spine while strengthening the core muscles and stretching the hamstrings.

To Properly Hip Hinge:

·         Place your feet about 12 inches apart.

·         Keep your back straight.

·         Contract “the core” by tightening the abdominal muscles.

·         Keep your back straight.

·         As you soften your knees, allow the pubic bone to move backward.

·         Rotate forward around the hip sockets.
 

For more information on preventing back pain or injury contact Northwest Wellness in Federal Way, WA at 2539270660

 

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Why Should I Meditate?

Why Should I Meditate?

There are thousands of studies that support the benefits of meditation and the positive effects produced when it is practiced regularly.  If you have never meditated, the possibility of sitting quietly on a pillow for 30 minutes simply focusing on your breathing can seem daunting.  In this day and age, it is difficult to imagine not checking your phone, text messages, email or social media for 5 minutes!  The more you recognize yourself in that statement the more I would compel you to take some time to study this ancient practice and reap the many benefits available.  Here are just some of the many advantages offered by a daily meditation practice:

·         Decrease stress and anxiety

·         Better and more restful sleep

·         Clearer thinking and calmness

·         Improved memory and brain function

·         Decreased physical pain

·         More harmony in your relationships

·         Increased sense of happiness

·         Improved Mind-Body-Brain Integration

World-class athletes, top managers and world-class performers have all shown high levels of what’s called brain integration. This means that their brains are wired with strong connections between the different areas, they have heightened attention, and they’re able to think quickly to deal with problems. In addition to all of the benefits listed above, meditation is also the new key to success, as noted by U.S. neuroscientist Dr. Fred Travis.  A study from Harvard Medical School also demonstrated that meditation causes changes in brain waves that actually improve the brain’s functionality. 

For more information on the benefits of meditation please call Northwest Wellness in Federal Way, WA at 2539270660

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Things You Should Know About Low Back Pain

Things You Should Know About Low Back Pain

Low back pain is far too common in today's society. About 80% of people will experience low back pain at some point throughout life. Low back pain can be very debilitating for many people and can severely impact overall quality of life. The good news is that low back pain can be managed. In fact, most low back pain conditions are easily managed conservatively and do not require surgery. 

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