3 Signs You Have Arthritis

People who live with arthritis are living with a joint disorder — people can be affected in areas of the body ranging from fingers, wrist, knees, and other parts of the body as well. Arthritis generally develops out of trauma (injury), infection, or even simply from the aging process. Pain associated with arthritis comes about from damage from disease, stiffness of the joints, and inflammation.

Joint pain from arthritis usually occurs in one area and usually shows up consistently. Below are a few tell-tale signs that you may have arthritis.

1.) Joint Pain

As mentioned above, joint pain occurs during arthritis — it’s actually the most common symptom. Arthritis may create problems with moving a particular joint. For instance, you may experience an inability to walk or use your hand properly. You might experience weight loss, trouble sleeping, loss of muscle flexibility, or muscle weakness.

2.) Lumps or Bumps Around the Joints

Look up the term “Jiu-Jitsu Fingers,” and you’ll get an idea what this symptom is all about. Pockets of fluid can build up in the joints, especially in the hands. These pockets of fluid are also called mucous cysts and can come along with pain associated with them.

3.) Warmness or Redness in the Joints

If you experience redness or warmth around the joint in question, this can also be symptomatic of arthritis.

If you’re experiencing pain from arthritis, we can help you manage it the all-natural way. Optimal Health & Wellness Center provides chiropractic care and health and wellness services that will have you living your best life. 

Tips to Avoid Winter Back Problems

The winter time is an especially strenuous time for some, especially those who live in colder areas which experience snow. Snowboarding, skiing, even shoveling the sidewalk can all put a lot of stress on your back, neck, and spine. It’s not uncommon for us to see many patients who suffer back pain during the winter time at Optimal Health & Wellness Center.

Are We More Vulnerable During the Winter?

We might be a little more prone to experiencing back pain or injury because the colder temperatures might stiffen the muscles more. It’s also far more tempting to stay in bed a little longer instead of pulling yourself out of bed to get in that morning stretch routine.

Minimizing Your Winter Back Pain

As we hinted at above, it’s a great idea to take 20-30 minutes to go through a full body stretch routine. Even if you can only spare 10 minutes, it goes a long way toward keeping a healthy body, not to mention spine. Incorporating yoga-style moves and deep breathing techniques will give your routine even more benefits.

You might be more prone to staying in and watching Netflix during the more frigid months with a blanket and a warm cup of cocoa, but try to work in some stretching between episodes.

Strengthen that Back While You’re At it!

Working out is good for your back when you practice proper form. Make sure to incorporate lifts and workouts that engage your core and strengthen your upper, middle, and lower back.

We hope some of this helps! And if you experience any back pain this winter, be sure to contact Optimal Health & Wellness Center today to schedule a consultation.

Chiropractic Care: It’s Not Just for Adults!

Neck pain (NP), mid back pain (MBP), and lower back pain (LBP) can strike at any stage in life, and more and more evidence supports that even children can suffer from these types of pains. Don’t just chalk everything up to growing pains — the types of pain we’re talking about here can seriously impede a child’s ability to assert themselves properly in the classroom. Aggravated, adult levels of pain can be reached at 18 and younger, studies are finding on a consistent basis.

That’s why it’s important to take back and spine health seriously early on.

Chiropractic Care for Young Folks

Carrying books, playing sports, engaging in extracurricular activities — these can all have a negative effect on your back, neck, and spine. Scheduling semi-regular visits to the chiropractor can also help make sure that your child is firing on all cylinders because chiropractic care has been shown to improve neurological function.

CC is also Holistic

Chiropractic Care takes advantage of natural, holistic remedies that avoid prescription medication, which is largely overprescribed and often abused by teens and even adults. Chiropractic care is a drug-free pain relief options that help kids reach the peak functionality, which helps in the classroom and in athletics. 

Find a Chiropractic Care Specialist Near You

Optimal Health & Wellness Center offers our services in San Antonio, TX, providing our community as well as visitors to our community comprehensive health and wellness services. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation.

How to Stretch with Your Spine in Mind

Optimal Health & Wellness Center takes the time to educate our patients in ways that they can take care of their back and spine. A big part of providing comprehensive chiropractic care is providing preventive medicine, which means educating the public about ways they can practice self-care that might help them avoid injury in the future.

Stretching is a good way to keep your body flexible and limber. It’s also a fantastic activity for stress relief, and, under the right circumstances, can also help build strength and balance.

Read on for a few ways you can stretch for your spine health.

The Spine is Complicated

It’s no secret that the spine is a vastly complex entity. Your spine is comprised of ligaments, muscles, bones, and tendons — all of which working together to move side to side, and front to back. Your spine is forced to carry the largest portion of your body weight — which is a big reason why stretching your spine is crucial to keeping your body functioning at optimum capacity.

Stretching is a great way to keep your back muscles and ligaments flexible while reducing stress on the joints.  Stretching also improves blood flow and drives proper nutrient distribution throughout the entire body.

Best Stretching Techniques

Like anything else, there’s a right way and a wrong way to stretch. You don’t want to try to stretch too hard when you just start out. You also don’t want to bounce your stretches — it’s better to slowly reach your desired position, then gently hold yourself there.

It’s a good idea to start at the neck, then work your way downward, incorporating each muscle group. This helps ensure that you’re utilizing stretch muscles for each part of your routine. Doing slow and controlled movements are best for your body. Pro tip: make sure that you practice conscious breathing, which will help deepen your stretch and increase mental wellness and relaxation.

What if Stretching Doesn’t Solve My Back Pain?

If you experience an injury prior to or during your stretch routine, contact Optimal Health & Wellness Center today. We can help you treat lingering back pain and get to the root of the problem, instead of just treating the symptoms. We have a long track record of getting our patients back to peak wellness.

How to Handle Backpacks

Whether you’re a child, a teen, a college student, or a person exploring academia at a later age, it’s important to put a little bit of thought into what you’re going to use to tote around your laptop and books.

Setting yourself up for success in the classroom involves studying the right material, making notecards for memorization, eating a healthy diet, staying active, but also taking care of your body by not putting undue stress on it, undue stress that can come about from carrying a cumbersome book bag (or, backpacks, as they are commonly called). 

Read on for a few things to keep in mind to make the right choice when it comes to backpacks.

Limit the Amount of Weight You Carry Around

Make sure that you only carry that which is essential in your book bag. Try to spring for a lightweight laptop — as long as you don’t sacrifice quality as a result. Choose paperback editions over hardcover. Try to only carry around about 10% of your weight.

Make Sure it Fits Snug

There’s nothing worse for your spine than a loose, heavy book bag bouncing around as you walk to and fro throughout campus. Make sure that your backpack rests close to your body and that the weight doesn’t pull you backward.

No More One-Straps

Maybe it’s still the “cool” thing to do, but when you use a single strap bag or only decide to utilize one strap in order to carry your backpack, you end up putting a great deal of pressure on your back and spine. The smarter, better move is to more evenly distribute the weight of your backpack across both shoulders.

A few additional aspects to keep in mind is to use roller packs, if your school permits, as well as spring for a backpack with useful features, like waist straps, padded shoulder straps, and additional compartments.

If you’re still unsure about which backpack to choose, consult your local chiropractor. Optimal Health & Wellness Center has a fantastic track record of keeping patients, happy, healthy, and well. Your health is always our primary concern!

3 Health Problems that Arise from Dehydration

Optimal Health & Wellness Center specializes in keeping our patients healthy and active. Sometimes that means providing chiropractic care that keeps our patients in the game of life and enjoying a higher quality of life. Sometimes it’s helping provide health and wellness advice that aims to reach the same ends.

A big part of our job is making sure our patients are living healthy and active lifestyles. A big part of living a healthy lifestyle is staying hydrated.

Here’s a staggering fact: about 75% of the population is not properly hydrated. Read on for a few reasons to stay on top of getting the requisite amount of water each day, which is 1/2 your body weight in ounces, by the way.

1.) Dehydration Causes Joint Pain

Since around 80% of the body’s cartilage is made up of water, staying hydrated helps your joints stay lubricated and pliable. Your joints become compromised if you’re not drinking plenty of water.

2.) Dehydration Kills Your Energy Levels

Dehydration causes all sorts of disruption in the body, even compromising the ability of your heart to pump blood and spread oxygen to your body’s cells. Lack of hydration makes it impossible for your body to reach peak wellness.

3.) Dehydration is Bad for Your Back!

Dehydration has some serious negative effects that can even reach the discs of your spinal column, causing herniated discs.

So, next time you’re thirsty, why don’t you make it a water? And if you experience neck or back pain that persists, even in the face of living an active, healthy, hydrated life, we’re always here to help you get back to 100% or better. Contact Optimal Health & Wellness Center today to schedule your consultation.

How to Have a Keto Thanksgiving

As October has come to a close, many of us are trying to make our Thanksgiving Day plans. This might mean making a trek out of town, or it might mean having family members over to your neck of the woods. No matter which way you slice it, if you’re on a ketogenic diet, it can be a real challenge to stick to it. Optimal Health & Wellness Center would like to go over a few foods you can have without sabotaging your results.

Read on for a few items that are still categorized as ketogenic, even though many of these appear commonly on the Thanksgiving dinner table, or are variations of popular classics.

Eat All the Turkey

Eating clean protein is a priority on the ketogenic diet, but so is eating foods high in good fats. That’s why you’ll want to focus on eating the dark meat, which is higher in fat. Try to get a turkey leg or two for good measure. If you remind everyone that you’re on a special diet, you may get a few eye rolls, but, usually, people will give you a break. If you’re going to lather that turkey with gravy, make sure that the gravy is sugar free.

Cauliflower Mash

Opt out of mashed potatoes, which are high in starch and carbs. Instead, opt for cauliflower mash and load it up with organic, grass-fed butter. It’s delicious!

Low-Carb Pumpkin Cheesecake

You can make some pretty amazing creations with almond flour crust — and pumpkin cheesecake (complete with cream cheese filling), will be very close to the original and still delicious on its own terms. You also won’t have that heavy, carb-overload feeling after your meal.

Try some of these ideas and let us know what you end up creating in the comments! Contact Optimal Health & Wellness Center for more wellness and diet consultation.