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Women's Health

Welcome to RiverOne Health & Wellness in Greater Joliet Area, where we prioritize the well-being of women through tailored chiropractic care. We understand that women's health is unique and multifaceted, and our team of experienced chiropractors is dedicated to helping you achieve optimal health and wellness. Whether you're seeking relief from pain, improved mobility, or overall wellness, chiropractic care can be an integral part of your journey to a healthier, happier you.

Understanding Women's Health: Women's health encompasses a wide range of physical, emotional, and hormonal factors that require specialized care and attention. From adolescence through pregnancy, menopause, and beyond, women go through various life stages that can affect their musculoskeletal system and overall well-being. Chiropractic care can play a vital role in addressing these unique needs.

Coral Flowers

PMS

Several studies have shown that chiropractic care can help decrease many of the symptoms of PMS without the potential side effects of prescription drugs. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is characterized by mood swings, swollen abdomen, headaches, back pain, food cravings, fatigue, irritability or depression in the days before a woman's monthly period. The severity of these symptoms can range from mild to incapacitating and may last from a couple of days to two weeks. It has been estimated that three of every four menstruating women experience some form of premenstrual syndrome, and it is more likely to trouble women from their late 20s to early 40s. Between 10 to 20 percent of all women experience symptoms that are severe or even disabling. PMS is thought to be a side effect of hormonal changes during the monthly menstrual cycle and can be made worse by stress, decreased serotonin levels in the brain and subluxations in the low back. Although chiropractic care cannot fix the way your body responds to the hormonal changes that preceed menstruation, several studies have shown that it can help decrease many of the symptoms of PMS without the potential side effects of prescription drugs. Since the nerves that exit the low back are responsible for regulating all of the tissues in the lower abdomen, any pressure or irritation that can be alleviated through chiropractic care can be helpful. Contact our chiropractor . . . we can help!

FIBROMYALGIA

A combination of chiropractic, trigger point therapy, and lifestyle changes has proven to be very effective in decreasing the severity and duration of the physical pain of fibromyalgia. The word fibromyalgia comes from the Latin term for fibrous tissue (fibro) and the Greek ones for muscle (myo) and pain (algia). Fibromyalgia syndrome is chronic disorder which includes widespread muscle pain, fatigue, and multiple tender points that affects 3-6 million people in the United States. For reasons that are unclear, more than 90 percent of those who develop fibromyalgia are women. It is not currently known whether the predominance of women who suffer from fibromyalgia is a phenomenon of the socialization of women in the American culture or whether it is some combination of the female reproductive hormones and other genetic predispositions. According to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), fibromyalgia is defined as a history of pain in all four quadrants of the body lasting more than three months. Pain in all four quadrants means that you have pain in both your right and left sides, as well as above and below the waist. The ACR also described 18 characteristic tender points on the body that are associated with fibromyalgia. In order to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a person must have 11 or more tender points. In addition to pain and fatigue, people who have fibromyalgia may experience: sleep disturbances morning stiffness headaches irritable bowel syndrome painful menstrual periods numbness or tingling of the extremities restless legs syndrome temperature sensitivity cognitive and memory problems (sometimes referred to as "fibro fog") Fibromyalgia is often confused with another condition called "myofascial pain syndrome" or "myofascitis." Both fibromyalgia and myofascitis can cause pain in all four quadrants of the body and tend to have similar tender point locations, but the two conditions are worlds apart. Myofascitis is an inflammatory condition due to overuse or injury to your muscles, whereas fibromyalgia is caused by a stress-induced change in metabolism and healing. Myofascitis tend to come on rather suddenly and is usually associated with a particular activity or injury, true fibromyalgia has a slow, insidious onset, usually beginning in early adulthood. It is very important to diagnose each of these correctly, for they require very different approaches to treatment. Unfortunately, fibromyalgia is a chronic condition, meaning it lasts a long time - possibly a lifetime. However. it won't cause damage to your joints, muscles, or internal organs. The Basics of Fibromyalgia The latest research indicates that fibromyalgia is a stress-related condition that is a cousin in Systemic Lupus Erythematosis (often referred to as simply 'lupus') and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. In all three of these conditions, there is the same predominantly female distribution, chronic fatigue, sleep disturbances, irritable bowel, as well as many other similarities. You can think about these three conditions as lying on a continuum with Fibromyalgia on one end, Lupus on the other and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in the middle. All three of these conditions are caused by an abnormal stress response in the body, but with Lupus, the immune system is primarily affected, causing an autoimmune reaction that attacks your healthy tissues. On the other end of the spectrum is fibromyalgia, where metabolic abnormalities are primary. These metabolic changes are the result of a stress-induced decrease in blood flow to an area of the brain called the pituitary. This, in turn causes a decrease in a number of important hormones, such as the growth hormone releasing hormone (somatotropin) and the thyroid stimulating hormone. These hormonal changes lead to abnormal muscle healing, borderline or full-blown hypothyroid, as well as memory and cognitive changes. One of the major physical abnormalities that occurs with fibromyalgia lies in the muscle itself, where there is a build up of a protein called "Ground Substance." Ground substance is normally found in muscle, bone and connective tissue all over the body and is responsible for making the tissues stronger and less susceptible to tearing. In a normal person, when a muscle is injured, the muscle tissue itself is able to regenerate and over time, completely heal itself. In a person with fibromyalgia, the muscle is unable to completely heal itself. Instead, an abnormally large amount of ground substance builds up in the injured area. It is the ground substance, coupled with local muscle spasm it creates that creates the muscle 'knots' associated with fibromyalgia. A number of tests may be done to rule out other disorders and an examination can reveal whether a person has the characteristic tender areas on the back of the neck, shoulders, sternum, lower back, hips, shins, elbows, or knees. Unlike its cousin lupus, there are currently no diagnostic laboratory tests for fibromyalgia. Because there are no clinical tests for fibromyalgia, some doctors, unfortunately, conclude that a patient's pain is not real, or they may tell them that there is little they can do. But a combination of chiropractic, trigger point therapy, and lifestyle changes has proven to be very effective in decreasing the severity and duration of the physical pain and disability of fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia can be difficult to treat. Not all doctors are familiar with fibromyalgia and its treatment, so it is important to find a doctor who is. Fibromyalgia treatment often requires a team approach, utilizing chiropractic care, trigger point therapy, massage, dietary changes, as well as exercises and stretching. Treating Fibromyalgia with Chiropractic Chiropractic care is critical for those who suffer from fibromyalgia in order to keep the spine and muscles from losing too much movement. Because fibromyalgia causes the muscles to tighten up and lose some of their natural pliability, it results in a global loss of movement in the spine. The loss of movement in the spine results in a neurological reflex that causes the muscles to tighten further. This vicious cycle will continue and over time will lead to increased pain, increased muscle tightness, a loss of movement, more difficulty sleeping and the development of more and more trigger points. The only option is to continually adjust the spine and keep it moving. It is not uncommon for those with fibromyalgia to be adjusted three to four times per month to keep everything mobile and relaxed. The biggest concern in treating people with fibromyalgia is that their muscles have a diminished healing ability. For this reason, chiropractic adjustments are usually modified slightly to be more gentle than normal. This helps to decrease the stress on all of the small supporting muscles of the spine, which can be easily injured. It is important when seeking chiropractic care, to make sure that the doctor is familiar with the muscular changes that occur with fibromyalgia so that they can adjust their treatment accordingly. Treating Fibromyalgia with Trigger Point Therapy The overwhelming characteristic of fibromyalgia is long-standing, body-wide pain with defined tender points, and frequently, trigger points. Trigger points are often confused with "tender points." They are not the same. A trigger point needs firm pressure to elicit pain, while tender points are painful with even very light pressure. Trigger points will refer pain to other areas of the body, whereas tender points will not. Unlike tender points, trigger points can occur in isolation and represent a source of radiating pain, even in the absence of direct pressure. As discussed earlier, trigger points are purely comprised of spasmed muscle fibers, whereas tender points are knots filled with ground substance. Those with fibromyalgia almost always have a combination of the two - trigger points and tender points - and can improve dramatically with light trigger point therapy. Trigger point therapy for fibromyalgia is much like trigger point therapy for low back pain, neck pain or headaches. The points are the same. The difference is just intensity. Since the muscles in patients with fibromyalgia are easily injured and take longer to heal, it is necessary to use less pressure on their trigger points. Treating Fibromyalgia with Cold Laser Therapy Since poor healing of muscle tissue and chronic pain are characteristic traits of fibromyalgia, laser therapy is an important part of any treatment plan. Two of the major benefits of cold laser therapy is stimulation of tissue healing and decreased sensations of pain. A 1997 study of 846 people with fibromyalgia reported in the Journal of Clinical Laser Medicine and Surgery demonstrated that two-thirds of the patients experienced improved pain and mobility with cold laser therapy. Another study published in Rheumatology International in 2002, showed that those who received laser therapy had a significant improvement in pain, fatigue and morning stiffness. Self-Care for Fibromyalgia Your day to day lifestyle choices have a tremendous impact on how much impact fibromyalgia will have on your life. The difference between those who take care of themselves and those who do not is tremendous. Those who make lifestyle changes to help their fibromyalgia suffer much less pain, are able to remain more active and have a much higher quality of life than those who do not. If you have fibromyalgia, here are some of the main things that you can do on a daily basis to help your body: Getting Enough Good Sleep -Getting enough sleep and the right kind of sleep can help ease the pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia, but is something that can be hard to get. Many people with fibromyalgia have problems such as pain, restless legs syndrome and brain-wave irregularities that interfere with restful sleep. Insomnia is very common. Although alcohol may help you to relax, it is not recommended before bed as it has been shown to interfere with restful sleep. Some of those with fibromyalgia have found 5-hydroxy tryptophan (5-HTP) very helpful, as well as the prescription anti-depressant amitriptyline. Typically, we don't recommend taking perscritpion drugs, but in this case, it is difficult to heal without enough sleep. Exercising - Improved fitness through exercise is recommended. Studies have shown that fibromyalgia symptoms can be relieved by aerobic exercise. Though pain and fatigue may make exercise and daily activities difficult, it's crucial to be as physically active as possible. The best way to begin a fitness program is to start with low impact exercises, like walking and swimming. Starting slowly helps stretch and mobilize tight, sore muscles. High-impact aerobics and weight lifting could cause increased discomfort, so pay attention to your body. The more you can exercise, the better off you will be. Making Changes at Work -Most people with fibromyalgia are able to continue working, but they may have to make big changes to do so. It may be necessary to reduce the number of hours at work, find a job that will allow you to have a flexible schedule, or switch to a less physically demanding job. Many people with fibromyalgia require specially designed office chairs, adjustable desks or other adaptations in order to continue working. If you face obstacles at work, such as an uncomfortable desk chair that leaves your back aching or difficulty lifting heavy boxes or files, your employer may make adaptations that will enable you to keep your job. Eating Well -Foods, just like anything else, have the ability to either stress your body or to help your body heal. Foods that tend to be stressful on the body include: dairy, eggs, wheat, corn, as well as anything with monosodium glutamate (MSG), nitrates or nitrites (as are found in processed foods). Several environmental toxins may also contribute to the overall physical stress on your body, therefore fish should be avoided as well. It is important that you eat as much clean, organically grown fresh foods as possible. Base your diet around whole foods such as: brown rice, legumes, oats, spelt, rice milk, soy, hormone-free chicken or turkey, roots, nuts and berries. Nutritional Supplements -There are dozens of nutritional products that claim to be 'the answer' for fibromyalgia. To date, none of them have proven to be of much long-term benefit for anyone. However, there are some people who have used magnesium malate with good results, some people who have used ginkgo biloba with good results and others with various herbals. The bottom line with nutritional supplements is that, to date, there is nothing that works for everyone. If you come across something that you would like to try, by all means do so, as long as you check it out with your chiropractor first to ensure that it won't interfere with any of your other treatment. Contact us today!

FROZEN SHOULDER

Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition that affects a significant portion of the population, causing pain and restricted shoulder mobility. Although it goes by various names like adherent bursitis, pericapsulitis, obliterative bursitis, and periarthritis, the core issue remains the same. This article delves into the causes, symptoms, and chiropractic treatment options for this debilitating condition. Understanding Frozen Shoulder: Frozen shoulder is a condition that affects approximately two to three percent of the population. It often begins with initial pain in the shoulder joint and a gradual decrease in mobility. While it can occur at any age, it is most frequently diagnosed in individuals aged 40 to 70, with women being the primary demographic affected. The shoulder joint is a complex ball-and-socket joint that relies on ligaments, tendons, and muscles to provide support and enable a wide range of motion. However, underlying inflammatory diseases and improper use can compromise the shoulder's functions. The exact causes of frozen shoulder remain elusive, but it typically manifests as pain, mobility restriction, and eventual recovery. The Nature of Frozen Shoulder: Frozen shoulder often develops insidiously, with symptoms slowly progressing over one to two years. Initially, patients experience mild pain, which gradually intensifies. Chemical changes occur within the shoulder joint, leading to the formation of thick tissue strands called adhesions, which restrict mobility. Additionally, the synovial capsule within the shoulder joint thickens, reducing lubrication. By the time significant mobility issues become apparent, the disorder has taken hold and requires intervention. Causes of Frozen Shoulder: Several factors can contribute to the development of adhesive capsulitis, including: 1. Misuse and Injury: Improper use or injury to the shoulder can initiate the condition. 2. Medical Procedures: Surgeries involving the upper torso, such as arm and shoulder surgeries or mastectomy, can increase the risk. 3. Lack of Use: Prolonged immobilization of the shoulder, such as being in a sling, can lead to joint tightness and reduced mobility. 4. Systemic Disorders: Conditions like hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, tuberculosis, and Parkinson's Disease can increase the likelihood of developing frozen shoulder. Chiropractic Treatment for Frozen Shoulder: The good news is that, despite its varied causes, frozen shoulder is treatable. Chiropractic care offers a straightforward approach to resolve this condition. Our experienced staff can provide the necessary manipulations and physiotherapy to help you regain mobility and overcome the disorder. Early diagnosis and intervention are crucial for patients with underlying systemic diseases. Chiropractic therapy for frozen shoulder focuses on: 1. Restoring Range of Motion: Our team assesses your baseline range of motion and pain levels to create a personalized plan. In-office neuro-muscular-skeletal rehabilitation, combined with home exercises, can significantly improve your shoulder's mobility. 2. Preventing Muscular Atrophy: Treatment aims to prevent the shrinking of important shoulder muscles through targeted exercises and therapies. 3. Reducing Inflammation: Our approach addresses inflammation within the joint space, contributing to improved long-term outcomes. 4. Successful treatment of frozen shoulder requires dedication and cooperation. Consistent stretching exercises at home, in conjunction with in-office therapy, are essential for a full recovery. Trust our team to guide you on the path to regaining mobility and resolving this challenging condition. Sources: American Diabetes Association: [Link to diabetes.org] Mayo Clinic: [Link to mayoclinic.com] American Academy of Family Physicians: [Link to aafp.org] Health Group Online: [Link to healthgrouponline.com]

PREGNANCY

Chiropractic care plays a vital role in helping the spine and pelvis adapt to the changes brought on by pregnancy, ultimately restoring a sense of balance and comfort. During pregnancy, a woman's body undergoes significant transformations. One noticeable shift is the forward displacement of her center of gravity, placing additional weight on the front of her pelvis. This change in weight distribution puts increased stress on the joints of the pelvis and lower back. As the baby continues to grow, this added weight also leads to a heightened curvature of the lower back, placing additional strain on the delicate facet joints along the spine's posterior side. If there were any pre-existing spinal issues, they tend to worsen as the spine and pelvis become overburdened, often resulting in pain and difficulties in performing routine daily activities. Research indicates that approximately half of all expectant mothers experience low-back pain at some point during their pregnancies, with the third trimester, when the baby gains the most weight, being particularly challenging. Chiropractic care during pregnancy offers relief from, and even prevention of, the discomfort commonly associated with pregnancy. Moreover, it fosters a conducive environment for a smoother and safer delivery. This safe and effective approach helps the spine and pelvis cope with the rapid increase in physical stress by restoring a state of balance. Many women find that chiropractic care allows them to avoid relying on pain medications during pregnancy, while studies also suggest that chiropractic adjustments can reduce labor duration. Your chiropractor is a valuable partner in ensuring a healthy pregnancy. They can provide regular adjustments and offer advice on nutrition, ergonomics, and appropriate exercises to meet your specific needs. Here are some essential chiropractic tips for pregnant women: 1. Maintain regular chiropractic adjustments to support a healthy skeletal structure and nervous system function throughout your pregnancy and childbirth. 2. Incorporate gentle daily exercises, such as walking, swimming, or stationary cycling, to maintain cardiovascular health. Avoid activities that involve jerking or bouncing movements and stop immediately if you experience any unusual symptoms. 3. Opt for flat shoes with adequate arch support, as pregnancy increases the susceptibility of your feet to injury due to added weight and loosened ligaments. 4. When lifting children, bend at the knees rather than the waist to minimize strain on your lower back. 5. While sleeping, lie on your side with a pillow placed between your knees to alleviate pressure on your lower back. Specialized "body pillows" or "pregnancy wedges" can be particularly helpful. 6. Consume several small meals or snacks throughout the day, instead of three large meals, to combat nausea, stabilize blood sugar levels, and maximize nutrient absorption. 7. Take a prenatal vitamin with at least 400 micrograms of folic acid daily (800 micrograms is even better) to reduce the risk of neural tube defects in the developing fetus. Always consult your doctor before taking any vitamin or herbal supplements to ensure their safety for both you and your baby.
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