One of our patients took this bad boy out of his pocket before laying on the adjustment table today. Fortunately he said he takes it out whenever he has to sit down. Whew!
Do you have low back pain? Fancy chair manufacturers would like you to believe their chairs can solve all of your problems using “Zero Gravity” technology. Believe me, I have sat in some of these chairs and they are extremely comfortable. However, as soon as I took my first test drive in one I realized why – a zero gravity chair reclines you into the 90/90 position! By using tiny sensors placed into the intervertebral discs of the spine, researchers have found that the 90/90 position places the least amount of pressure on your discs, which are a major source of low back pain. What is the 90/90 position? As demonstrated in both of the pictures below, it is assumed by lying on your back with your hips and your knees flexed to 90 degrees. That’s it. It’s that simple. I recommend it to all of my low back pain patients. And, despite what fancy chair salesmen might tell you, you don’t need a special chair to feel the relief of the 90/90 position.
What if I don’t have insurance?
Our next question is, what happens if I don’t have chiropractic coverage on my insurance? Unfortunately this is a situation that is becoming more and more frequent, and that is why we do everything we can at Catalyst to keep your care affordable. What we have is a time of service discount that we offer to all of our patients who pay promptly on the date that their treatment is rendered. If you have any questions about our rates and about our time of service discount, please contact us at 503-526-8782.
Today’s question is, what happens on my first chiropractic visit at Catalyst? This is a good question because our first visit is a bit different than the rest, and takes a little bit longer.
As a chiropractor in Oregon, I am licensed as a portal of entry physician. This allows me to be able to perform my own examination, develop the proper diagnosis for your condition, and determine what the proper course of care is going to be for that condition. On your first chiropractic visit, we will have you fill out some paper work to answer some questions about your past health history, and about your current problem. Then, I will sit down with you and ask you a few more questions about those things.
At that point, we will go into our examination. This will entail taking some vitals, checking your range of motion, will do some orthopedic and neurological testing to find out what tissues might be damaged, and of course, we will do a chiropractic exam. This will involve checking for proper alignment and motion of your spine, and any extremities that might be involved.
From there, we may move into doing some x-rays. We have an x-ray suite on site, so if x-rays are necessary, we can do them right here which is convenient, because you don’t need a separate appointment at a separate facility. By doing a detailed exam on your first chiropractic visit here, we can determine what the proper course of treatment is going to be and if it is safe we can go ahead and do your first visit right there on the date of your examination.
Afterwards, we will schedule you for a follow up visit, which will be more brief, where I will sit down with you and talk about what we found on the first day. Basically what’s wrong, how we’re going to fix it, and how long that might take to fix it. Contact us to setup your first chiropractic visit at Catalyst and we’d be happy to help you get on the path to feeling better. Thank you.
Put your well-being first this year. Read how in this month’s newsletter.
This year on our chiropractic blog and social media outlets, I’m going to bring you a new wellness theme each month, with useful facts, self-assessments, calls to action, maybe some humor, and overall some sensible info from which good decisions about your health can be made. We’ll call it my outlet for dispersing wellness-related info that I am passionate about but don’t always get a chance to preach in the clinic because we’re too busy helping people out of back pain. The funny thing is, much of what we call wellness and preventive health can prevent spine and joint pain as well. So take care of your body and it will take care of you. On to this month’s topic!
At the risk of sounding cliche, this month’s focus is on maintaining a healthy weight. Notice I did not say weight loss. I feel like the term “weight loss” has a lot of negative vibes and is more often associated with achieving a more desirable outward appearance than with better health and well being. Don’t worry, I’ll keep the soap-boxing to a minimum. In short, I want to talk about weight this month without standing on my high horse and telling you the whole country is morbidly obese and we’ll all die if we don’t all go “Biggest Loser” and lose half of our weight. In my studies on this subject I discovered that January 19th-25th is “Healthy Weight Week.” This is sponsored by the Healthy Weight Network, which, in their own words, provides “…the latest research on obesity, eating disorders, weight and eating issues, dieting, and weight loss and gain, along with practical guidelines for healthy living.” After reading through the material on their website I can say I don’t agree with everything they are saying, but the idea of “healthy weight” resonates with what I have felt for a long time – that if we are focused on diets, pills, and quick fixes, we have the wrong idea and are not going to help anything. The focus needs to be on being healthier, not skinnier. If we make the shifts in our lifestyle to become more healthy, then other things (maybe a slimmer waistline) will follow.
Here are a few things to consider about weight:
Many of the current recommendations for weight loss are based on Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is a flawed measurement. That is not to say it should be completely disregarded, but rather taken with a grain of salt. See here to calculate your BMI. Based on BMI, somewhere around 2/3 of the US population is either overweight or obese. If you are in that 2/3, don’t panic. At least, not yet 😉
In addition to BMI, look at your waist circumference. BMI has a loose correlation to increased disease and mortality risk. Abdominal obesity has a stronger correlation, and waist circumference will tell you more about that than your BMI will. You are at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes if your waist size is over 40 inches for males and over 35 inches for females.
What some research is suggesting now is that it’s not necessarily a BMI rating of anything above normal that will kill you, but being in the obese range. And more likely in the higher ranges of obese. On the other end of the spectrum, low BMI, or underweight, is also associated with higher mortality rates. Where should you be? Somewhere in the middle, far away from the extreme ends of the spectrum.
Yet other research shows that physical inactivity is even more closely associated with disease. This means that whether you are fat or skinny, one of the most important determinants of your health is your fitness level. Active obese people can live longer and better lives than inactive obese people. Active skinny people will outlive inactive skinny people. This is something I can work with. We are not all meant to fit into one mold. Sometimes it isn’t realistic to strive for a certain body type. What is realistic is to make the most with what we are given and to be our healthiest self.
Eat well, move well, and move (exercise) often. Simple enough?