Mens Health Month

Middle age men don’t experience rapid loss of bone mass that women experience following menopause. But by 65 or 70, men and women are losing bone mass equally. And the ability to process calcium, an essential nutrient for bone health, decreases in both sexes. Excessive loss of bone mass causes bone to become fragile and prone to fracture. Fractures resulting from osteoporosis most commonly occur in the hip, spine, and wrist, and may cause permanent disability.

Things you can do to delay bone loss are:

Eat lots of calcium and vitamin D to help keep your bones and joints healthy. Dairy foods, calcium-set tofu, green leafy vegetables, and small canned fish with soft bones (e.g. sardines) provide the most readily available sources of dietary calcium.

  • Older adults should eat at least three servings of calcium and vitamin D every day.
  • If you take a calcium supplement or multivitamin, be sure to choose one that contains vitamin D.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of protein, fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Regular exercise is good for your health, no matter how old you are.
  • Exercising regularly reduces your risk of osteoporosis…and
  • Reduces your overall functional decline caused by aging
  • Helps to maintain or lose weight by burning calories
  • Strengthens your heart and lowers your blood pressure and cholesterol therefore reducing your risk of coronary heart disease and strokes.
  • Keeps your joints moving and reduces joint aches and pains caused by arthritis
  • Reduces the risk of bone fractures and other injuries, or recover faster if you are injured
  • May reduce your need for a cane
  • Helps to relieve stress, gives you energy and generally improves your mood
  • Increases your strength and independence

Aim to exercise for at least 30-60 minutes/ 4-5 days per week. To get started, pick an activity you like; walking, jogging, tennis etc. Then set goals for yourself such as, “this week I will jog for 15 minutes for 3 days”. Once you are comfortable at that level, slowly increase the duration and number of days.

Whatever activity you decide to do remember to do the following:

  • Consult your healthcare provider about ways to increase your physical activity without injuring yourself
  • Stop immediately and consult your healthcare provider if you experience pain, nausea, dizziness or shortness of breath
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Warm up before all your exercises and stretch before and after
  • Wear light clothing and the correct shoes for your exercise
  • You can also count your daily chores as exercise such as, vacuuming your house, cleaning your car or walking your dog

By reading this you are probably one of few men that have a pro-active approach to health. Here’s how chiropractic can fix what you can’t.

Structure determines function.  It is common for men to come to the clinic with acute low back pain from all the hard work, or the physical activities they have been part of. Guess what?  Unless there is a significant injury, strong backs don’t tend to just blow out.

What happens is your back structures tighten-up with time,  an accumulation of stress,  and then the core back muscles get weak – and “fragile back” syndrome makes it’s appearance again! The next thing you know, the weakened muscles can’t perform and hold it together, and then, you bend over to pick up a hammer or your kid, or do one little thing, and your back gives in and the pain becomes intolerable.

IT ISN’T MACHO TO IGNORE YOUR HEALTH. Most men work under the old adage “If it isn’t broke don’t fix it.” Many times they wait too long when the problem could have easily been prevented. One-third of untreated lower back problems will eventually escalate to become persistent and disabling.

Our Chiropractor will give you a comprehensive assessment of your problem, before embarking on a mutually agreed course of treatment. It’s about far more than just taking away the pain: it’s a strategy for improving movement and preventing recurrence of the injury, while allowing the back to heal and strengthen.

Without good posture, your overall health and total efficiency may be compromised. Because the long-term effects of poor posture can affect bodily systems (such as digestion, elimination, breathing, muscles, joints and ligaments), a person who has poor posture may often be tired or unable to work efficiently or move properly .Even for children or  younger adults, how you carry yourself when working, relaxing or playing can have big effects

Poor Posture – How Does it Happen?

In most cases, poor posture results from a combination of several factors, which can include:

Arthirtis

  1. Accidents, injuries and falls
  2. Poor sleep support (habits or mattress)
  3. Excessive weight
  4. Visual difficulties
  5. Foot problems or improper shoes
  6. Weak muscles, muscle imbalance
  7. Careless sitting, standing
  8. Negative self image
  9. Work stress or poorly designed work space

Poor Posture & Pain

A lifetime of poor posture can start a progression of symptoms in the average adult. Fatigue – your muscles have to work hard just to hold you up if you have poor posture. You waste energy just moving, leaving you without the extra energy you need to feel good. Tight, achy muscles in the neck, back, arms and legs – by this stage, there may be a change in your muscles and ligaments and you may have a stiff, tight painful feeling. More than 80% of the neck and back problems are the result of tight, achy muscles brought on by years of bad posture. Joint stiffness and pain puts you at risk for “wear and tear” arthritis (degenerative osteoarthritis). Poor posture and limited mobility increase the likelihood of this condition in later years.

As chiropractors, we can help you minimize those effects by removing any spinal dysfunctions which contribute to bad posture and often first cause it to occur.

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