How to Avoid 'Text Neck' in 2018

Have you heard of text neck?

According to Dr. Kenneth Hansraj, a spinal surgeon in New York, it is a very real thing. When we spend hours a day on our phones, our heads begin to drift forward, further and further… until THEY FALL OFF OUR NECKS. Just kidding, they don’t do that. But now that I have your attention let me explain something crazy that DOES happen.

Dr. Hansraj explains that when your neck is in a neutral position, the weight of your head is around 10-12 pounds. As your head drifts further forward the strain it places on your neck increases. At 15 degrees forward, your head puts a strain of 27 pounds on your neck, at 30 degrees that strain becomes 40 pounds, and at 60 degrees it becomes 60 pounds!

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It is easy to see how the extra strain can lead to pain in the neck and shoulders, joint degeneration and even disc herniation.

We are so attached to our phones, so what is to be done? These acute and chronic symptoms can be combated by daily stretching, taking breaks from our phones and getting adjusted.

If you have any questions about “text neck” or would like to schedule an appointment, please call Dr. Hannah at (612) 562-6694.

VITAMIN D: WHY IT IS IMPORTANT AND WHERE TO GET IT

You most likely have had someone in your life recommend Vitamin D. But what is so great about that vitamin? 

 

Well, virtually every cell in the human body has a Vitamin D receptor. Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption in the intestine to protect against osteoporosis. It also regulates your immune function. Vitamin D promotes cell growth and supports your mood. 

 

If that is not enough reason to want to have sufficient Vitamin D levels, some of the risks of having insufficient levels of Vitamin D include increased risk of heart attack, cancer, diabetes, asthma and other autoimmune diseases. Now this list is not meant to scare you, it is meant to empower you to get your Vitamin D levels checked to make sure you are not at risk. Your primary care physician can check this for you.

 

Knowing how important this vitamin is, where do we get it?

 

The best source of Vitamin D is always SUNLIGHT! This is the form that your body absorbs the best and there are numerous additional benefits to getting natural sunlight. Living in the Midwest, you know that natural sunlight can be scarce. Other sources including fatty fish, (like tuna, salmon, etc.) egg yolks and beef liver which contain high amounts of Vitamin D can help.  If eating more of those foods is not enough to get you to a healthy level, you can use a Vitamin D supplement. A high-quality, bio-available (meaning your body can absorb it) Vitamin D supplement can help your reach sufficient Vitamin D levels when your diet/sunlight exposure are lacking. 

 

Ask about Vitamin D at your next appointment !

 

Schedule on patient portal or call  (612) 562-6694

 

Be well. 

Announcing Online Scheduling

Exciting news! Online scheduling has arrived!

Your time is valuable.  For your convenience, Dakota Chiropractic is now offering online scheduling for select hours at the clinic. This way you can easily schedule your chiropractic adjustment and get back to your busy day. 

Getting signed up is simple. Email, text or call Dr. Hannah, noting that you want to take advantage of online scheduling. Within 24 hours you will receive a link from 'Patient Ally'.  Click on the link and you will be guided through a brief automated process that will allow you to access your 'Patient Portal'.

From the Patient Portal you will be able to send secure messages to Dr. Hannah, pay outstanding balances and request appointments!

If you cannot find a time that works for you online or simply if it is your preference, you can always call or text Dr. Hannah at (612) 562-6694 for additional appointment options.  

Be well.

Photo by Rawpixel/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by Rawpixel/iStock / Getty Images

Back to Sugar

Last month we discussed the abundance of sugar in the Standard American Diet and how that affects your energy levels throughout the day. I would like to continue this discussion and look a little closer at how carbohydrates (e.g. sugar) travel through your body and why that is important to understand.

Let’s say, for instance, you eat a piece of white bread. When it reaches your mouth, your salivary glands begin producing an enzyme called amylase. As amylase is beginning the process of breaking down the bread into its simple sugars, you will notice that the bread will become a sweet tasting glob in your mouth.

Once amylase gets stimulated, it also triggers the lower GI system to start producing other enzymes and hormones to continue this digestive process. The problem with products like white bread is that they become broken down so quickly and with such little effort by the body that the small intestine will quickly allow the simple sugars into the blood stream, causing a rapid increase in the level of sugar in the blood.

The response to this blood sugar increase is the release of the hormone insulin from the pancreas.  Insulin’s main job is to grab sugar from the blood and pull it into whatever tissue it can, mainly the liver and muscle tissue. Once the liver and muscle cells are full of this stored “glycogen”, the rest needs to go somewhere, so it mainly gets stored as fat.

The body wants to deal with this rapid sugar increase as quickly as possible. It aims to keep your blood sugar tightly regulated for a reason; that free sugar isn’t very good for your blood vessels. You can picture it like a sticky piece of cotton candy floating around. It can cling onto things and wreak havoc.

As mentioned earlier, over time your cells get tired of responding to the constant signal coming from insulin, and the body will try to protect itself by storing the excess sugar as adipose tissue or in other words body fat. 

So what can be done to prevent these issues? As you might have guessed it is to cut down on your intake of excess sugar. The solution is simple but also can be difficult. First look at your beverages; sodas and juices contain enormous amounts of added sugar. Next, keep yourself satiated and energized throughout the day with snacks that contain healthy fats like almonds, avocados or walnuts. This will help you avoid the temptation of sweets throughout the day.

As always, feel free to reach out with questions on this topic. We only scratched the surface today. Or ask about what you can do to incorporate healthy fats into your diet at your next appointment. Call to schedule at 612-562-6694.



Be well.

Written by: Mitchell Rasmussen, Functional Movement Specialist
Edited by: Hannah Steinmetz, D.C.