Louisiana Guide: How to Honor Veterans This Memorial Day

by All American Healthcare Comments Off on Louisiana Guide: How to Honor Veterans This Memorial Day

The looming three-day weekend is no doubt in the back of everyone’s mind as we wrap up the end of this work week. The thought of going to bed Sunday night without a workday wake-up call the next morning is reason enough to get a little giddy inside. But, as with all holidays, it’s important to remember the reason for the season, if you will.

Memorial Day is more than just a convenient day for a lake trip or the unofficial mark of the beginning of summer. It’s a day of tribute and recognition, and a time to reconnect with our history to appreciate the reality of our American freedom. So before you head off to your neighborhood cookout or pack the cooler for a day on the boat, take some time to refresh yourself and your family with the true reason for the holiday.

Louisiana Guide: How to Honor Veterans This Memorial Day

Do something that honors the lives of our fallen soldiers and recognizes those who fight day in and day out for our American values. Here are some ways we’ve found that you and your family can honor America’s heroes this weekend.

Find out if there are any opportunities for your children to get involved.

Many organizations host Memorial Day programs to offer the youth an opportunity to participate in honorary ceremonies. Encourage your children to participate in, or at least attend these services, so they have the chance to see their own peers honoring our country.

The 40th Annual Memorial Day service will take place on Monday, May 29th, near our Shreveport location at Hillcrest Memorial Park. The program includes representatives of area veterans as well as junior ROTC’s to lay wreaths honoring local heroes and fallen soldiers.

Spend time with loved ones.

Whether you decide to cookout on the back patio or take everyone camping for the weekend, spend time with your family this holiday to talk about, honor, and educate each other on the importance of honoring our war veterans.

The Land-o-Pines Family Campground, near our Covington location, is hosting a Memorial Weekend event with loads of entertainment for the whole family. Likewise, the Tangipahoa Parish, near our Hammond location, is hosting the Memorial Day Swamp Pop Music Festival at Hidden Oaks Family Campground. Wherever your family spends time together this weekend, be sure to discuss and remember the legacies of our war heroes.

Volunteer in your community to honor the lives of fallen soldiers.

These volunteer opportunities take place year-round, but check out the events calendar in your area to make a difference this Memorial Day.

The Vietnam Veterans of VFW Post 3798 and the National Park Service are holding a ceremony and multiple volunteer projects this weekend at Chalmette National Cemetery, close to our New Orleans location.

Whichever way you choose to honor and remember our veterans this weekend, be sure to facilitate discussion on the importance of the holiday, have fun, and stay safe.

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All American HealthcareLouisiana Guide: How to Honor Veterans This Memorial Day

5 Tips: How to Have More Fun at Work

by All American Healthcare Comments Off on 5 Tips: How to Have More Fun at Work

According to Gallup polls over the recent years, the vast majority of Americans are unhappy and disengaged when they’re at work. Of course, engagement rates range across the board depending on a number of extenuating factors and other controls that have almost nothing to do with the jobs themselves. Still, it’s 2017, and it’s about time to start having more fun at work!

Five days ago was the official National Fun at Work Day, but you shouldn’t let that limit when you have fun at work. With these simple suggestions, you’re bound to have more fun at work in no time.

1. Start by Checking In With Coworkers

First and foremost, connection and communication are undeniably two of the keys to long-term as well as short-term happiness. That’s precisely why, if you’re trying to make your work environment more meaningful and fun, it’s important to start by checking in with your coworkers.

A quick pop-in by a coworker’s cubicle or a short email asking them how their day is going is all it takes to boost your mood (and theirs) considerably.

To further cut down on day-to-day work stress, make sure your conversations are geared toward pursuits outside of work. Ask your cubicle mate about the puppy in the picture on their desk; forward a motivational post to your team; tell a silly anecdote about your weekend—as long as it’s work-appropriate, of course!

The point is: you’ll have more fun at work if you spend a little time getting to know the people around you and connecting with them on a daily basis.  

2. Give Back as a Team

There are countless studies that back up the fact that altruism not only contributes to the health of an individual but also to an overall feeling of happiness. If you’re trying to establish a more positive company culture (and obviously have more fun at work), you can kill two birds with one stone by volunteering as a team.

Giving back as an office instills in employees and employers alike a sense of well-being and happiness. On top of that, companies that incentivize volunteerism have been shown to retain employees at a higher rate and have a much higher engagement level, all else being equal.

3. Liven Up The Office Atmosphere

If you’re feeling a bit blue at work, take a look around. Have you made an attempt to make your desk space comfortable and inviting? If not, now may be the time.

You can liven up your office’s atmosphere and add a little more fun into your workday by bringing in some personal items to display on your desk. Consider showing off small mementos from vacations you’ve taken—that way, every time that you look around, you’ll be reminded of all the fun places you’ve been. Plus, seeing those tokens will incentivize you to work harder for the next vacation you plan to take.

There are, of course, dozens of ways to rearrange your workspace to make it more fun. From bringing in big, leafy green plants to painting the walls brighter colors to setting up a ping-pong table in the breakroom, there are almost too many choices for livening up an office’s atmosphere.

4. Host a Luncheon at a Local Landmark

Sometimes the best way to have more fun at work is just to escape work for a little bit. And what better time to break free than at lunchtime?

The next time the dreary doldrums loom over your office, try suggesting that everyone head out to lunch together. To make it even more fun, suggest that the team all eat lunch together at a local landmark, such as a local park, the city art museum, or by the water if you live in a city near a lake, ocean, or river.

The goal is to get outside and switch up your routine a little bit.

5. Practice Intentional Gratitude

Finally, the most lasting and impactful way to have more fun at work is to practice intentional gratitude every day.

Start each workday (after you’ve checked in with your coworkers) by listing out at least three things that you’re grateful for. They could be related to work, or they could not be; it’s completely up to you. The point of the exercise is to put yourself in a more positive mindset that will allow you to accept more fun and joy into your everyday work activities.

Whether you choose to adopt all five suggestions for having more fun at work, or you only end up sticking with one of the above, it’s our hope that you find a way to make each day less stressful and more fulfilling.

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All American Healthcare5 Tips: How to Have More Fun at Work

5 Flu-Fighting Foods to Eat This Winter

by All American Healthcare Comments Off on 5 Flu-Fighting Foods to Eat This Winter

According to the CDC’s estimates, millions of Americans fall sick with the flu each year, and hundreds of thousands are hospitalized in serious cases. There are, of course, dozens of measures that you can take to ensure that the flu misses you entirely this year. From getting properly vaccinated to washing your hands to getting adequate sleep and exercise, you have a wide range of options for preventing the flu. In addition to taking these steps, it’s also crucial to pay attention to what you put in your body. As the saying goes: you are what you eat. And if you eat these five flu-fighting foods, you’ll be significantly less likely to fall prey to influenza.

Without further ado, let’s delve into these five fantastic, flu-fighting foods:

1. Chicken Noodle Soup

For centuries, mothers and grandmothers around the world have sworn by chicken noodle soup—and for much of that time, scientists shrugged off the effects as purely psychosomatic. If it helps soothe the symptoms, then it must be due to the comforting association chicken noodle soup has, right? Well, not exactly. That factor does contribute to the healing properties of chicken noodle soup, but it’s not the only reason to stock up on stock this winter.

According to a study conducted by Dr. Stephen Rennard of the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, chicken noodle soup contains a number of medically beneficial components. Chief among these benefits is chicken noodle soup’s anti-inflammatory mechanism.

It’s important to note that while store-bought chicken noodle soup does carry some of these same benefits, homemade is far better across the board.

2. Ginger Lemon Tea with Honey

Hydration, hydration, hydration. Whether you’re already sick, or you’re trying to keep the doctor at bay, it’s crucial to stay hydrated all winter long.

Few drinks are more flu-fighting or sore-throat soothing than a nice, steaming hot mug of ginger lemon tea. Stir in a spoonful of honey, and you’ve got a recipe for an immune-boosting power punch that will knock the flu into next Tuesday.

Sesquiterpenes, a key component of ginger, has been shown to combat rhinovirus among other common viral infections. For its part, honey also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. And, of course, it’s well-documented that the vitamin C content of citrus fruits like lemon contributes to the overall health and plasticity of the immune system.

3. Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts, which are rich in selenium and other essential nutrients, may also help your body to fight off harmful infections like the flu.

Most nuts contain at least some level of immune-boosting selenium, but Brazil nuts are by far the most selenium-rich. Therefore, if you’re looking to protect yourself against the flu without chowing down on an inordinate number of nuts, then Brazil nuts will be your best friend this cold and flu season.

4. Quinces

As far as fruits go, quince is king when it comes to fighting the flu. Quinces are full of flu-fighting anthocyanins.

While consuming quince won’t prevent the flu, it will help boost your body’s immune response, which means even if you do contract this year’s strain of influenza, your symptoms will be far less severe, if you present with symptoms at all.

5. Garlic

Garlic has been used for centuries for everything from warding off mosquitoes to lowering high blood pressure. But evidence suggests that it’s also instrumental in fighting off the flu and the common cold.

To reap the most substantial benefits, you would have to consume raw garlic whole—which can be (understandably) off-putting for most people. If you absolutely cannot stomach the powerful, pungent taste of raw garlic, you can always opt for a comforting batch of garlic mashed potatoes. The effects will be dampened, but they won’t be completely squashed by the cooking process.

On an individual level, none of these foods will prevent the flu. But when you combine their consumption with an already healthy, balanced diet, they can be pretty miraculous. So, feel free to slice up some quince, warm up some chicken noodle soup, and add a dash of garlic to all your favorite recipes. Let these healthy comfort foods carry you through the cold, flu-ravaged winter months and beyond.

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All American Healthcare5 Flu-Fighting Foods to Eat This Winter

4 Ways You Could Be Harming Your Joints

by All American Healthcare Comments Off on 4 Ways You Could Be Harming Your Joints

From spending far too much time bent over looking at a screen to ingesting inflammatory foods and drinks, there are myriads ways you’re attacking your own body day in and day out, including ways you could be harming your joints. Luckily, human bodies are remarkably resilient, and the vast majority of minor harmful actions you take against yourself don’t inflict major damage.

That being said, there are a number of seemingly inconsequential things that you do almost every day that can actually have a lasting negative impact on your joint health.

1. You Don’t Properly Stretch Throughout the Day

Stretching regularly not only helps to alleviate back pain, it can also help athletes (and non-athletes) maintain a greater range of motion in their joints.  

Because of the inherent connectedness of the tissues that comprise your body, even stretching your hamstrings can have a positive effect on your knee joints, which may seem completely unrelated.

The point is: dynamic stretching—and static stretching once the muscles have been warmed up—can keep your joints in shape while improving your flexibility and range of motion. If you’re not stretching on a regular basis, you are doing your entire body, joints and all, a huge disservice.   

2. You’ve Been Exercising the Same Way Every Day

You may be an avid runner, but if you want to maintain healthy hip and knee joints, you may want to consider switching up your routine.

It’s a common misconception that running damages your knee joints irreparably. The simple truth is that running can actually be beneficial for joint health, provided you don’t have preexisting conditions or injuries that might be exacerbated by high-impact exercises like long-distance jogging.

In order to maintain the peak of joint health, it’s important to vary your exercises. Throw in some yoga along with your jogging. Give kickboxing a shot. Go for a swim from time to time. Repeating the same motions over and over again can lead to the wearing down of your cartilage over time.

3. You May Have Gained a Few Extra Pounds

Arguably one of the worst things you can do for your joints—and also for your overall health—is to gain an excessive amount of weight.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, “Every pound of excess weight exerts about four pounds of extra pressure on the knees. So a person who is 10 pounds overweight has 40 pounds of extra pressure on his knees; if a person is 100 pounds overweight, that is 400 pounds of extra pressure on his knees.”

Your knees aren’t the only joints that suffer when you gain weight. Extra weight generally means that you’ve put on at least some percentage of fat. This fat releases inflammatory chemicals, and we’ve already established that inflammatory responses within the body are detrimental to joint health.

Therefore, if you want to keep your joints in ideal condition, it’s incredibly crucial to maintain a healthy weight and body fat percentage.

4. You Haven’t Been Getting Adequate Rest

Ahhh, sleep. There are few more remarkable functions that our bodies perform. Sleeping is a regenerative, restorative imperative that:

  • Improves productivity,
  • Sharpens focus,
  • Strengthens immunity,
  • Improves memory,
  • Repairs and replenishes,
  • Reduces heart attack risk,
  • And so much more.

With regard to repairing and replenishing your body, this includes your joints. When you run yourself ragged 24/7, you not only decrease your ability to bounce back and fight infections, you also damage your body’s tremendous capability to restore cartilage to your joints.

Thus, the next time you think it prudent to pull an all-nighter, think of your aching joints and reconsider.


If you’re guilty of any and all of these bad habits, know that there are several ways that you can alleviate joint pain, and there are even some ways to preemptively combat it, including taking supplements. Joint health is no joke; take care of your joints, and they’ll take care of you.

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All American Healthcare4 Ways You Could Be Harming Your Joints

4 Simple Solutions for Alleviating Back Pain

by All American Healthcare Comments Off on 4 Simple Solutions for Alleviating Back Pain

As we mentioned in an earlier article, over 30 million Americans are experiencing back pain at any given time. Luckily, there are several simple solutions for alleviating back pain. From exercise to stretching to breathing techniques and everything in between, there’s bound to be a solution that meets your needs and fits your lifestyle.

Don’t live your life in pain when you could be enjoying every moment to the fullest! With these four simple tips, you can get up and get out there again:

1. Exercise for 30 Minutes Every Day

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: daily exercise is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle. But, realistically, how many of us are hitting the gym every single day?

The sad truth is, very few people get the prescribed 30 minutes to an hour, three to five times a week. One easy antidote is to change the way we think about exercise. It doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment. Spend 10 minutes in the morning before you take your shower practicing yoga. Add a quick 10-minute walk around the block after lunch. Then, get out in the backyard after work and play with the kids like you mean it (they’re an endless supply of energy and enthusiasm; it’s remarkably contagious). That right there gives you an easy 30 minutes every day—and you don’t really even have to think about it.  

Of course, there are countless reasons to exercise every day, but the one we’re concerned with right now is alleviating back pain. With the proper form and right kinds of exercise—restorative yoga, low-impact lap swimming, etc.—you can see an incredible improvement in the health of your back in almost no time at all.    

2. See a Chiropractic Specialist

If you had a leak in your kitchen, would you ask an electrician to come and fix it? Of course not! That would be utterly silly.

The same logic applies to fixing your aching back. Leave it to the professionals. Your local chiropractor has a wealth of knowledge at their disposal, and they’re eager to direct you on the path toward a healthier, pain-free existence. From spinal decompression to massage therapy, your chiropractor should be able to offer you a dozen natural and holistic solutions to your aches and pains.

3. Get in a Good Stretch

In all likelihood, you spend a large chunk of your day sitting at a desk, only to go home and subsequently sit on a couch until you lie in your bed. All of that dormancy and stagnancy can lead to tight muscles. Tight muscles can lead to sore backs and compromised joints—neither of which are ideal for a happy, healthy life.

To avoid the pain and inconvenience of joint issues and back pain caused by tight muscles, the simplest solution is just to stretch every day. Harvard Medical School recommends holding stretches for at least 30 seconds. And in order to minimize injury, they also warn against bouncing in any position.  

In the end, the more flexible you are, the better off you are as a whole. When your joints have a full range of motion, and your hamstrings aren’t tight from sitting all day, you’re pretty much guaranteed to alleviate a great deal of your back pain.

4. Breathe In, Breathe Out

Deep, diaphragmatic breathing is an amazing technique for relieving tension in the lower back. If you suffer from mild to moderate lower back pain due to poor posture or strenuous activity, take a few moments each day to practice breathing into your lower back.

Make the most of these moments by starting out in child’s pose. As soon as you’ve found a restful, comfortable position, start inhaling slowly. Breathe in until you feel that you have absolutely no more room to budge. Hold this breath for a few seconds, then gently start to exhale. Notice how you can start to feel the tension in your lower back subsiding. Repeat this cycle for as long as you need each day. It’s a deeply relaxing and easy way to help alleviate your back pain.

Interested in more natural remedies for your aches and pains? Read up on these holistic solutions for migraines.

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All American Healthcare4 Simple Solutions for Alleviating Back Pain

5 Reasons to Make Getting a Good Night’s Sleep a Priority

by All American Healthcare Comments Off on 5 Reasons to Make Getting a Good Night’s Sleep a Priority

In the hustle and the bustle of modern life, it may seem like getting a good night’s sleep is the lowest priority. For some, a lack of sleep and the consequent purple under-eye pillows are worn as badges of honor.

You’ve likely overheard someone in your office humbly bragging about how little sleep they got the night before—as if to assert their work prowess and undying devotion to the company. Or perhaps you’ve been that person. In either case, there are a few things you need to know about how getting enough rest can actually increase your productivity and lower your stress levels.  

Ready for an awakening? Check out these top 5 reasons to make getting a good night’s sleep a priority!

1. You Can Sharpen Your Short-Term Memory

Be as prepared as possible for that last-minute presentation to the board. You won’t have to rely on cue cards or slides to prompt your memory if you catch an adequate amount of Z’s the night before.

Studies have suggested that sleep deprivation has a remarkable effect on several cognitive abilities, including short-term memory. So, if you ever catch yourself thinking, “If I just stay up a few hours later, I can knock this project out of the park,” think again. Getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night will help you be your best self—though, you won’t get to brag about how incredibly tired you are.  

2. You’ll Increase Your Focus and Productivity

Speaking of being your best self, did you know that getting an insufficient amount of sleep can actually have a noticeable impact on your workplace productivity?

Getting little to no sleep can harm your ability to focus, stay on task, and even follow proper safety procedures. Once again, if you think that skimping on sleep will help you get ahead at work, you’re way off-base. Refresh your mind and ramp up your productivity by treating your body to a solid eight hours of sleep each and every night.

3. You Can Strengthen Your Immune Responses

Cold and flu season is upon us, and you might need more than just a shot to immunize you from the bug that’s going around.

There have been multiple studies done on the effects of sleep deprivation on immune system responses, and the overwhelming consensus is that lack of sleep is a major contributing factor in contracting the common cold.

And in case you’re under the impression that it’s just prolonged, severe sleep deprivation that decreases your immune responses, a number of scientists have confirmed that even a modest disturbance of sleep reduces the production of natural immune responses.

4. You’ll Decrease the Likelihood of Heart Attacks

Among a number of different contributing factors, getting enough quality sleep is a major player in keeping your heart healthy and preventing heart attacks.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, not getting enough sleep can wreak incredible havoc on your heart. Getting only five hours of sleep per night or less can actually increase your risk for nonfatal myocardial infarctions by roughly 45 percent.

5. You Can Repair and Replenish Your Body Overnight

Think of sleeping as rebooting your computer. You awaken fresher, faster, and more focused. There are few experiences in life quite as refreshing or replenishing as getting a good night’s sleep. Not only does it feel amazing, it also has remarkable effects on self-regulatory functioning.

In order to be your absolute best, your body needs time and sleep to repair, restore, and replenish the various components of your entire body. From head to toe, your body craves sleep to renew itself.

Long story short: getting a good night’s sleep can be a terrific, transformative experience. It’s worth hitting that snooze button!

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All American Healthcare5 Reasons to Make Getting a Good Night’s Sleep a Priority

10 Things I learned from My Mother: A Male’s Perspective

by All American Healthcare Comments Off on 10 Things I learned from My Mother: A Male’s Perspective

Moms love giving advice to children and passing on their worldly wisdom. Over the years, my mom probably suggested over 1000 solutions to my age-old questions regarding life. Here are 10 things I learned from my mother that actually stuck.

10 Things I learned from My Mother

1. Always say yes to an adventure

Every summer my parents would load up the family truckster, and we would drive to “some place”. Mom would keep a daily log of how many miles we had driven, where we ate breakfast, where we at lunch and dinner, which hotel we ended up at for the night and everything in between of substance. A few months after the trip we would sit around and reminisce and relive all the little details. Mom sent me off to Europe in 10th grade on a school trip and installed a love of travel that has stayed with me to this day.

2. Honor who you are and take care of you first

Mom instilled in us that we must believe in ourselves unapologetically. She would say. Believe in your decisions and those around you will believe in you too. Be an Individual. Remember to take care of yourself first before taking care of others. Put the “Oxygen Mask” on yourself first, so that you can help your neighbor. Get your ducks in a row so you can be ready for life as it comes to you. Keep your tank full so you can be present with the important people in your life.

Which brings me to: 

3. Be careful who you let into your inner circle

People show you who they are. “Observe them,” she would say.  Be clear on what attributes you value in others and keep firm boundaries with your closest confidantes. Do not divulge too much to those you do not hold in your inner circle and keep it positive, nurture those relationships like you would a little puppy. Recognize those that don’t hold your values. If someone shares gossip with you, consider that they could they be gossiping about you too. To attract good friends be one.

4. Stay Present

Remember to stay in the moment and enjoy the smallest and biggest blessings life offers you. Small blessings turn into bigger ones. You have to laugh at the absurdity of life. After every challenge, hurdle, or obstacle you will look back and see the ridiculousness life throws at you and gain a perspective to be better than you were before. Trust it and embrace it.

5. Always have clean nails

And clean behind your ears, your belly button…you get the picture? Cleanliness is next to Godliness and so on.  As Muhammed Ali said, if you look good, you feel good, and if you feel good, you play good and when you play good they pay good. ‘Nuf said.

If you look good, you feel good, and if you feel good, you play good and when you play good they pay good.

6. Hard work always pays off

People see this and will know it about you. It helps to discover what you truly enjoy doing and do it passionately!  That thing you love and enjoy doing will fulfill you immensely. When you get tired of it, go find the next thing you love to do and do it as long as it fires you up inside!  Her best piece of business advice was “Son, even if you win the rat race, you are still a rat.”

7. Have fun

Have fun. Find friends who like to do things you like to do. Take that salsa class, go mountain climbing, run a marathon or learn to speak Greek.. and do it for yourself! Put yourself out there and try new things. When she was dropping me off at college she only said three things between the tears….study hard, laugh a lot and keep your honor.

8. Hobbies are the spice of life

Keep up with the fun stuff you like to do. My mom used to ask us at dinner if money was no object what would you do with yourself for the next five years? I would say things related to travel and speed. I would learn to sail a boat, and sail it from California to Florida, become a race car driver. She would always say something about learning Oceanography or learning sign language or learning to play the piano. She wanted to make sure that we always had a love of learning and growing intellectually.

9. You can do anything

Mom always told us that we could handle anything life throws at us. My mom encouraged me but didn’t fix my problems. She had faith in me that I could handle anything from friend drama to professional choices and education decisions.  So far so good.

10. Get your rest so that you can rise early

I never feel as alive as I do when I get up early in the morning. I remember walks on the beach with my Mom early in the morning. Looking out over the vast ocean I felt like I could concur the world. She would often quote Twain and Emerson. One of my favorites is a quote by Emerson. “In the morning, a man walks with his whole body, in the evening, only with his legs.”

It was not until much later in life did I realize how great of an impact my Mom had on who I have grown up to be.  I always thought I took after my Dad more but now realize my Mom shaped who my Dad was as well. The native Americans believe in Mother Earth and from that we all come. I tend to agree with them. Hug your mother, give her a kiss everyday not just Mother’s Day and always remember the little things she gave you.

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All American Healthcare10 Things I learned from My Mother: A Male’s Perspective

How to Effectively Treat Lower Back Pain

by All American Healthcare Comments Off on How to Effectively Treat Lower Back Pain

Chiropractors effectively treat lower back pain by pairing a variety of treatments and techniques. All American Healthcare chiropractic offices use natural pain management techniques including chiropractic manipulation, physical therapy, spinal decompression, active release technique, massage therapy and the Graston technique. Let’s take a deeper dive into how to effectively treat lower back pain. -All American Healthcare


What is Low Back Pain?

Low back pain is pain that resides in the lower lumbar region of your back located below the ribcage. The lumbar region of your back is responsible for structural support, movement and protection of delicate body tissues. Back injuries account for one of every five workplace injuries or illnesses. Over three million workers will suffer from back pain this year alone.

Back pain symptoms can range from a dull ache to a sharp stabbing sensation that can make it difficult to move, walk, or stand. Acute back pain can appear suddenly and will often heal itself. Chronic pain is pain that lasts longer than three months and can last years. Chronic lower back pain may be mild or excruciating and can be caused by a variety of reasons.

If you are suffering from chronic or acute back pain, consult with a local chiropractor. If you are suffering from severe back pain due to a fall or injury, you should be checked out by a health care professional immediately.

What Causes Low Back Pain?

Low back pain is often associated with normal wear and tear that occurs in the joints; however, back pain can also be caused by injury due to muscle strain, irritated nerves, slipped discs, or degeneration of disks or joints. Your back is a complex system of nerves, muscles, and bones, and any irritation in this support structure can cause back pain and disrupt your quality of life.

  • Sprains and strains account for most acute back pain injuries due to overstretching, tearing ligaments, or muscle strains when twisting or lifting.
  • Intervertebral disc degeneration is a common mechanical cause of low back pain that occurs when the disc in your vertebrae becomes weak due to aging. As discs deteriorate, they lose their “cushion” or padding.
  • Herniated or ruptured discs occur when the disc becomes compressed and tears causing it to bulge out or herniate.
  • Sciatica is compression on the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the human body, traveling from the lower back, through the buttocks, and down to the feet. When the nerve is compressed, it can not only cause pain but also numbness or weakness in the back of the leg or foot.
  • Traumatic injury from sports, care accidents or falls can injure the tendons, ligaments and muscles in your back. A traumatic injury may also cause spinal compression and neck pain which can lead to a herniated disk.
  • Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal column that places pressure on the spinal cord and surrounding nerves.This can cause lower back pain and numbness.
  • Scoliosis, or another skeletal irregularity, can cause back pain due to misalignment.

Chiropractors treat back pain by first identifying the underlying cause of the pain, then addressing those issues with natural pain management techniques including chiropractic manipulation, physical therapy, spinal decompression, active release technique, massage therapy and the Graston technique.

What is the Structure of the Lower Back?

The lower back, or lumbar region, is made up of five vertebrae referred to as L1-L5. This region of your back supports much of your upper body weight and is responsible for structural support, movement and protection of delicate body tissues. The lumbar region consists of intervertebral discs, ligaments, and nerves.

Discs serve as pads, or “cushions,” between the vertebrae in your spine. These pads absorb shock to help minimize the impact of stress placed on the spinal column. The center of the disc is capable of rupturing, causing a herniated disc. If the disc herniation is large enough, the disc tissue can press on the adjacent spinal nerves causing irritation and pain. The most common location for a herniated disc is between the fourth and fifth lumbar vertebrae of the lower back.

Bands of tissues known as ligaments hold vertebrae in place while tendons attach muscles to the spinal column. Thirty-one pairs of nerves are rooted to the spinal cord which control body movements and transmit signals between the body to the brain.

Do Natural Pain Relief Techniques Work?

Natural pain relief has proven to be effective in treating chronic low-back pain. Studies have shown that chiropractic patients experience better overall outcomes in pain management, functional disability, and patient satisfaction. Additionally, chiropractic manipulation has shown to be safe and effective.

“Patients with chronic low-back pain treated by chiropractors showed greater improvement and satisfaction at one month than patients treated by family physicians.” -The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics

How to Effectively Treat Lower Back Pain: 6 Chiropractic Treatments

1. What is Chiropractic Manipulation?

A chiropractic manipulation, often called a chiropractic adjustment, is a common treatment for lower back pain. Chiropractic adjustments are manual manipulations that involve applying pressure to the spine and surrounding tissues to eliminate misalignments in the spine that cause nerve irritation.

2. What is Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy is usually paired with other techniques to treat lower back pain and includes stretching, strength exercises and low-impact cardio. This rehabilitation technique can help strengthen the muscles in your back and help those whose back pain has left them inactive for a long time.

3. What is Spinal Decompression?

Spinal decompression reduces pressure and irritation on the nerves between your vertebrae and is commonly used to treat lower back pain due to degenerative spinal discs, disc herniations, and spinal stenosis. Spinal decompression involves stretching the spine using a traction table or similar motorized device in order to relieve pressure on compressed nerves, tissues and discs. This technique can ideally help pull herniated disc material back into the disc and help regenerate injured discs and tissues. Patients should not feel pain during or after the decompression therapy although they should feel a stretch in the spine.

4. What is Active Release Technique?

Active Release Technique is a soft tissue system and movement based massage and physical therapy technique that reduces pressure with muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This technique is used to treat muscle pulls or tears or overused muscles that are not getting enough oxygen. Active release technique can also be used to treat other conditions such as headaches, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder pain, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, knee problems, and tennis elbow.

5. What is Massage Therapy?

Massage therapy promotes relaxation, relieves stress, and reduces pain by restoring healthy blood flow to injured areas of your body and lowering blood pressure. Massage therapy is often paired with exercise and stretching to relieve chronic lower back pain.

6. What is the Graston Technique?

Graston technique reduces pressure on your muscles tendons and ligaments and is often used to regain strength and motion from an injury. Graston technique uses tools to locate and treat scar tissue and restrictions that affect normal function. Scar tissue, also known as fascia, is located just under the skin and connects to the surrounding muscles, bones and nerves. If the scar tissue is unable to stretch and move, it can tear resulting in pain, soreness and limited flexibility. The majority of patients usually receive two treatments per week over four to five weeks.

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7 Natural Tricks to Look and Feel Younger

by All American Healthcare Comments Off on 7 Natural Tricks to Look and Feel Younger

7 Natural Tricks to Look and Feel Younger

While we continue the search for the fountain of youth, there are a few things you can do today to help yourself look and feel younger!

1. Get Enough Sleep

We are surely all familiar with the saying “a good night’s sleep,” but how good is a good nights sleep? No only can sleep help you feel well rested by daybreak, but it will also enhance your memory, attention, and concentration. You may also be surprised to know that an adequate amount of sleep will also reduce your risk of heart attacks or strokes.

Sleep is a major asset to optimal brain function. Your body has a chance to repair and rebuild stamina while you sleep. Be sure to eat well before you go to bed. Going to sleep on a full stomach can slow down your metabolism and disrupt your sleep cycles.

Need more?

Here are 4 ways sleep keeps you young:

  1. Beauty Sleep. Being well rested makes you more attractive to others. The British Medical Journal published a study on “beauty sleep” and whether or not sleep-deprived people were perceived as less healthy, less attractive and more tired than after a normal night or sleep. Photos were taken of twenty-three healthy individuals both after an 8 hour night’s sleep and after a night of sleep deprivation. Untrained observers rated the photos of the individuals. Results indicated that sleep-deprived people appear less healthy, less attractive and more tired when compared to photographs taken after a full night’s sleep.
  2. Stay Fit. Sleep can help you manage your weight. You avoid late night snacks, rebuild your  metabolism, and have more energy to burn unwanted calories.
  3. Protect Your Skin. Your skin is your largest organ. Protect it. During the day, your skin is busy keeping out unwanted toxins and protecting your from the outside elements like the sun’s rays. Your skin is a time clock, and much like the rest of your body, when you go to sleep, you skin begins to repair and rebuild itself by replacing damaged cells and recycling fresh oxygen and nutrients to the skin. A lack of sleep can show in your skin and face through inflammation, or dark circles.
  4. Boost Youth Hormones. The human growth hormone (HGH) stimulated growth, cell reproduction, and cell regeneration. The brain releases HGH while you sleep and serves and important role in your restoration process. High levels of HGH are produced during childhood and adolescence, and levels drop as you age. Be sure to get an adequate amount of sleep to maintain your HGH levels. This will help maintain muscle mass, increase your metabolism, and rejuvenate your skin.

Not sure if you are getting enough sleep? There’s an app for that.

2. Eat Revitalizing Food

The older you get, the more your diet matters. Focus on fueling your body! Healthy meals can not only help you feel better, but also help you fight chronic pains, diseases, and fatigue.

Here are some tips to fuel your body with revitalizing energy and help you taste the rainbow:

  • Eat protein for breakfast to boost energy.
  • Whole grains will keep you full.
  • If you’re 50+, start your day with calcium-rich foods such as yogurt, fruits, or nuts.
  • Magnesium helps produce serotonin. (nuts, unrefined grains).
  • Avoid starchy, high calorie lunches because these will weigh you down and cause fatigue.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids will not only boost your energy, but also boost your circulation and mood.
  • If you have had a stressful morning, monounsaturated fats will lower your blood pressure. You can find this in foods like avocados, peanut and olive oils, and nuts/seeds.
  • Onions help regulate blood sugar and slow bone loss while bananas increase happiness by regulating your mood and helping you relax!
  • And make sure to get plenty of beans—people who eat them may have fewer wrinkles.
  • Vitamin C is essential for your body to make collagen, the protein that keeps skin firm and elastic.
  • Protect your heart with heart-healthy foods such as tomatoes, salmon, and dark chocolate.

3. Kick Bad Habits

Are your bad habits aging you faster than you think? Here are six common, bad habits to kick to stay youthful, happy and healthy.

  1. Not getting enough sleep. As previously mentioned, getting enough sleep can play a major role in your youthful hormones, skin, mind and more.
  2. Smoking. Not only does smoking damage your lungs, but it can damage other major organs, including your skin. Smoking releases free radicals into the body which can cause oxidative damages. The pucker your lips make when you take a puff will cause wrinkles around your lips.
  3. Limit your alcohol. A moderate amount of alcohol has shown to have heart-healthy benefits; however, excessive alcohol drinking can take its toll on your body. Women who are sensitive to alcohol can develop heart disease, brittle bones and even memory loss.
  4. Shut down that sugar crave. Sugar increases aging in every part of your body by increasing your risk of diabetes and skin problems such as acne and wrinkles. When the sugar enters your bloodstream, it attaches to proteins that actively work to damage skin protecting proteins like collagen and elastin. This will result in sagging, wrinkly skin.
  5. Not wearing sunscreen. The best way to look younger is by protecting your skin. Your skin is constantly defending itself from the sun’s damaging UV rays. Sunscreen will protect your skin from dark sun spots, keep it moisturized and prevent wrinkles. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to your hands to prevent spots and wrinkles.
  6. No drinking water. Stay hydrated! Most people do not drink enough water in a day, leading to dehydration, headaches, fatigue and more. Your body, brain, and skin are made of mostly water and need this hydrating liquid to keep your body on tract. Water gives you energy, boosts your metabolism, and protects your skin from becoming dry, tight and flakey. The dryer your skin, the more prone you are to wrinkles. You can add moisture and hydration to the skin by drinking water and by using a moisturizer after the shower.

4. Keep Moving

Get off the couch and get active! Studies show that those who watch more TV per day also eat more. Don’t fall down this path! Instead of watching TV or hanging by the couch, pick up an old hobby, take a walk or exercise your mind. Watching TV for hours on end can not only make you feel drained, but limits your mind and body, leading to feelings of depression or stress. Stand up, pump some oxygen-rich blood through your body, stimulate your brain and reap the benefits.

Not only is being active good for the heart and body, but it is healthy for your youth! Exercise releases the happiness hormones into your body so you naturally feel happy after a workout. When you are happy after a workout and your muscles are loose, you are relieving your worries and removing the build up tension from your body. Keeping active as you get older will help you maintain muscle mass, protect your heart and keep your body strong.

5. Snuggle Up With Loved Ones

Snuggling up and being intimate with loved ones has proven to be beneficial for both men and women in multiple ways. Some studies have concluded that regular sex can make you look five to seven years younger! Intercourse, like sleep, can release the human growth hormone which plays a significant role in your skin’s health! It that all?

One study conducted by the British Psychological Society believes that sex can not only help you look and feel younger, but also prolong your life. Many of these studies compare someone’s drive to their quality of life and feelings of overall well-being.

Having sex is not only good for your youth, but is also good for your brain! Benefits relating to sex include better critical thinking, reduced stress, reduced pain and a boost in the immune system!

6. Let Go of How Things “Should Be”

Release control. Anxiety and Stress will only make you feel older and lower your energy. Accept things that are out of your control and release your worries. When people are stressed, they tend to show it in their face. This can not only increase wrinkles, but also cause tension headaches and influence your overall wellbeing. Studies show that smiling can improve your mood and reduce stress.

Focusing on letting go will also lower your blood pressure and relieve tension on the body. If you often find yourself with a tense face, neck and shoulders, take a moment to simple relax. Open up your mind and let it go. Tension in the neck and upper back can interfere with communication from the brain. When you relax, you open up that pathway for optimal communication and allow yourself to refresh and think with a clear mind.

7. Bask in Your Joys

Don’t underestimate the power of focusing in good things in your life or the things that make you happy! The more you think about these joys, the more you will smile, boosting your energy, mood and spirit. You only have one life, and if you know what truly makes you happy, you have found true joy. Often, when we think about our own joys, we have more motivation and inspiration to do more in our lives.

Focusing on your joys also influences you to be grateful for what you have. Studies show that being grateful showing gratitude can have positive benefits on your life and health. Grateful people have shown to report higher levels of positive emotions, life satisfaction, optimism, and lower levels of depression and stress.

Overall, changing your mindset can change your life. Make the changes that you need to make in your life in order to be a happy and healthy YOU!

 

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All American Healthcare7 Natural Tricks to Look and Feel Younger

Your Brain on Drugs

by All American Healthcare Comments Off on Your Brain on Drugs

January 25-31, 2016 is National Drug and Alcohol Facts week and is a great opportunity for adults to learn how to talk to their kids about drugs and for teens to learn the true dangers and risks that come with drugs. The best way to prevent teens from using or experimenting with drugs is to talk to them about the facts such as what drugs are made of, how they physically and chemically affect you, and the long-term risk of usage. Use the facts below to talk to your family and loved ones about the dangers of drugs. -All American Healthcare


It’s important to let your children make their own decisions and learn from their mistakes, but it’s more important as a parent that you communicate with your kids and instill a knowledge in them that will help them make the right decisions. Adolescents are at risk everyday of being exposed to negative influences and drug-related activities, so take action now, before it happens. Educate your children on the effects and dangers of drugs so they have a clear understanding of the risks involved.

Your Brain on Drugs

Your brain, just like the rest of your body, is full of chemicals that are used for communication. Without a proper functioning brain, you cannot have a properly functioning body. Drugs, at any level, create a chemical change in the body because drugs themselves are chemicals. Thanks to science, we can see the change in our brains caused by drug use and discover new ways to help recovering addicts and effectively respond to drug use.

Our brains are wired to reward us for healthy behaviors and activities and naturally produce “feel good” chemicals and neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine and endorphins. These are considered natural opioids. Opioid receptors in the brain help control automatic processes such as respiration, responses to outside stimuli, responses to pain or hunger, and even the understanding of action and reward. This part of our brain is considered the reward circuit. When it is kick-started, the brain realizes that something positive is happening and it stores that memory or moment.

Our brain teaches us to repeat these healthy actions without even thinking about it and rewards us with a sense of happiness and pleasure. Drugs can take over this system and create a false sense of happiness and chemically change our perspective of the environment around us. Drugs can act as natural chemicals in the brain to manipulate the process of communication. You can read more about this under Reward Circuit.

Two ways drugs work in the brain:

  1. Imitating the brain’s natural chemical messengers
  2. Overstimulating the “reward circuit” of the brain

Some drugs have a chemical structure that allows them to mimic the chemical messengers, or neurotransmitters, that naturally occur in our body. Marijuana and heroin are two examples of this. They are so similar to naturally occurring functions that they are able to fool our receptors; however, because they cannot work the same way as natural transmitters, firing neurons send abnormal messages throughout the brain which can cause further problems and damage to our brains and bodies.

Drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine can cause nerve cells to overstimulate; for example, they can cause neurotransmitters to release too much dopamine in the brain or prevent the normal recycling of dopamine. This can exaggerate messaged in the brain and cause confusion in communication channels. If dopamine-producing cells stop working in the brain, messaging between neurons breaks down. Drug abuse can create severe chemical imbalances in the body.

Reward Circuit

Your reward circuit responds to feelings of pleasure by releasing the neurotransmitter dopamine. Drug abuse can take control of this system. When you receive an excessive amount of dopamine you experience a sense of euphoria. When this euphoria wears off, you look for that next rush of happiness and excitement. Users will begin to built a tolerance to the drug after repeated use because the neurons in your brain will begin to reduce the number of dopamine receptors, make less dopamine, or some neurons may even die. This lack of dopamine will make users feel lifeless and depressed, often leading them to  take higher doses or harder drugs.

Once you become addicted, you can no longer control your behavior and will constantly be looking for a “high.” Instead of feeling rewarded for good, healthy behavior, you brain now associated rewards with repeated drug use.

What is Addiction?

At its core, addiction is a chronic brain disease characterized by a lack of control over the use of a substance or certain behavior. Addiction is a disease that affects both the brain and behavior which causes users to compulsively seek out drugs regardless of potentially fatal consequences. For first time users, trying a drug is a personal choice. Repeated drug users experience a chemical imbalance in the brain that can change the way they think about and perceive risk vs. reward. They often make risky decisions over and over again, even if they are at risk of losing friends, family, shelter, work etc.

A person struggling with an addiction cannot move past it without help. It requires a significant change in lives, perceptions and character to recover. If someone could recover alone, it would not be an addiction.

Risk Vs. Caution

Is using drugs risky? Yes, in more ways than one. Have you noticed a trend in teens that use drugs? They tend to partake in risky or dangerous activities such as stealing money to buy drugs, driving under the influence, fighting, etc. But why? Do they not think about the short and long-term consequences like injury, jail time or possibly death? While they do consciously make their own decisions, research shows how drugs impact your brain and your ability to make risky choices.

In a recent study, researchers took pictures of the brains of two groups of teens playing a game. One group of teens had substance use or other behavioral problems while the second group did not. In the game, the each group would face a series of choices which would either be a cautious behavior or a risky one.

Each group began the game with $5.00. If you chose a cautious behavior, you would earn one cent. If you chose a risk behavior, you would either win five cents or lose ten cents. Risky decisions allowed you to win big or lose bigger. Additionally, the chances of winning declines over the course of the game, so if teens kept making risky choices, they would eventually lose all of their money.

Brain scans showed the amount of brain activity happening in each teen’s brain while they were making decisions and showed which parts of the brain were most active during the decision making process.

Results showed that teens without  substance use problems had more brain activity than the brains of teens with substance use. This result was consistent with both risky and cautious behaviors. Those without substance problems appeared to have “busier brains” when making decisions. This could help explain why substance-using teens tend to take more risks. They don’t think as much about the possible consequences.

 

Talk to your family today about the effects of drugs on your brain. Help them gain a deeper knowledge on the subject so they will think twice when facing the choice on their own.

 

Learn more about the risks of abusing drugs.

  • Learn how to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose.
  • Get help for substance abuse problems: 1-800-662-HELP.

Sources: Drugabuse.gov, National Institute of Health, The Heroin Project

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All American HealthcareYour Brain on Drugs