Have Headache Pain? Chiropractic Can Help!

Many of our patients come to Aspen Wellness Center seeking help in relieving headache pain caused by either tension or migraine headaches. So what is the difference? Tension headaches start in your neck and can refer pain to the base of your skull, the top of your head, temples and jaw. Even tension headaches can cause excruciating pain. They can be caused by excess stress, trigger points, poor posture or even sleeping wrong. The good news is that this type of a headache usually responds very well to chiropractic care.

Migraines, on the other hand, are intense headaches that usually have neurological, vascular or even hormonal components to them. People who get migraines frequently experience other negative side effects such as nausea, vomiting, speech problems and eye floaters. Some get nauseous and vomit, some see weird spots that float in the visual field and some people develop speech problems. Depending on the type of migraine, what triggers it and how severe it is, I have found that these types of headaches often respond to chiropractic and acupuncture treatments.

How does chiropractic help relieve headache pain?

Chiropractic can help relieve the pain of a headache by gently improving the alignment of the spine and natural curve in the neck. When this happens, the nerves that come out of the spine and control your muscles allow more normal functional movement of bones and muscles. If there any muscles that were spasming before an adjustment, they should start to relax after treatment.

Is our office the right place for you?

With nearly 35-years of experience, I offer personalized and individualized care based on what you need. I don’t pressure my patients into lengthy, expensive care plans that they don’t want or need. I feel that if f you like the care you receive then you will be back. Our doctor – patient relationships are always based on trust and authenticity. In fact, oftentimes I am privileged to work on entire families! You are always welcome to call and talk to me about the problem you are experiencing. Call us today at (970) 377-1775 for a free consultation!

How To Stay Pain-Free During Back-to-School


It’s back-to-school time, and that means trips to school, scraped knees, books, back packs, and school sports. The activity can be great for you and the kids, but heavy back packs and bad posture can hurt your kids and their backs.

So here are 5 Easy Tips that will help keep the entire family healthy for back-to-school:

1. Find a good back pack! A good pack is light, snug and comfortable to wear. It should be made of vinyl or canvas, with two wide padded shoulder straps and a waist strap. All straps should be used and adjusted so that the pack is snug against the wearer’s back and not “falling away” from the body. A quality back pack is only as good as the way it is packed! Make sure the heaviest objects are close to the body and any bumpy, odd-shaped objects are placed on the outside, away from the back.

2. Moving your kids into their college dorm room or new apartment? Lifting heavy boxes can give you back pain. Be sure to label your boxes so that helpers know what can be found inside and how heavy they will be. Tape the boxes so that they are sturdy and the contents do not shift while being handled.

Before lifting, make sure that you have balanced footing and good grip (boxes with handles are ideal).
Face your work. Stand so that your nose, hips, and toes are facing forward. Keep the object as close to your body as possible and bend from the hips and knees.

3. Hit the books but help your back! When you are studying or reading, use a book stand so that your book is at eye level. This will reduce the amount of strain on your neck and shoulders from having your book lay flat. It also has the added bonus of giving you extra desk space!

4. Returning back to school sports after some time off during the summer? Remember that your body may not have done that sport in awhile and will need extra time to warm up. Be sure to warm up for a minimum of 10-15 minutes before playing. The warm up should involve simple movements that “simulate” your sport and get the heart rate up. Always stretch after your sport.

5. Sitting in class with good posture will reduce the strain on your neck, shoulders and low back. It will also help keep you attentive during class! Sit with your shoulders back, chin tucked in and a gentle “C curve” in your low back. Don’t arch your lower back or slump forward. Your ears, shoulders, and hips should be in a straight line. Make use of your breaks! Between classes stand up, walk around and stretch.

Be sure to call your Fort Collins Chiropractor at (970) 377-1775 to keep up your routine chiropractic maintenance for improved performance, as well as faster healing time from any back or neck injuries.

Reference: www.spinehealth.org

Blackened Tilapia With Cucumber-Avocado Salsa

1 tablespoon oil
4 (6 ounce) pieces tilapia
4 teaspoons cajun seasoning

2 avocado, diced
1 cup cucumber, diced
1/4 cup green onion, diced
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt to taste

Heat the oil in a heavy bottom skillet over medium-high heat, add the tilapia, seasoned with the Cajun seasoning, and cook until deeply golden brown to slightly blackened before flipping and repeating for the other side.

Pain Free: How to Help End Lower Back Pain

The majority of our patients have experienced low back pain at some point in their lives. Often pain occurs as a result of years of improper functional movements due to postural misalignments throughout the body. Regular chiropractic treatments with your Fort Collins Chiropractor helps to gently realign the spine to reduce chronic pain and optimize mobility.

In addition to chiropractic adjustments, patients often find that routine stretching can also help keep reduce chronic back, neck and shoulder pain. In this video Pete Egoscue, founder of the Egoscue Method and author of the book Pain Free, assesses one patient’s lower back pain and shows how shoulder alignment and a concave curvature of the spine contribute to the issue. Next, he demonstrates a few simple posture exercises that can help correct the spinal positioning and restore comfort in the body. Watch to see how well this patient responds to this gentle conditioning.

How Safe Is Chiropractic Care?


Chiropractic adjustments, also known as spinal manipulative therapy or spinal manipulation, are a natural, non-invasive and extremely safe form of therapy provided by licensed doctors of chiropractic. Each doctor of chiropractic goes through rigorous and extensive hands on training including the passing of national and state board examinations to ensure their expertise and competency in evaluating, diagnosing and treating spinal ailments and other health related conditions is at a high level. From time to time, stories in the media attempt to circumvent truth and what research has shown by suggesting that chiropractic adjustments may not be completely safe.

We find claims challenging chiropractic’s safety record unprofessional and unfounded based on what medical research has already proven. For example, one of the largest and most credible studies related to chiropractic safety and related neck injuries, Cassidy et al., found that a patient is as likely to have seen a primary care medical doctor as a doctor of chiropractic prior to experiencing a cervical arterial injury. The truth is chiropractic care is extremely safe and medical research backs this.

If you or someone you know is in need of chiropractic services, rest assured in knowing chiropractic care and chiropractic adjustments are not only effective, they’re one of the safest health-related procedures offered by any healthcare discipline.
Call us today at (970) 377-1775 for a free consultation with your Fort Collins Chiropractor.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Eur Spine J. Apr 2008; 17(Suppl 1): 176–183.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2014

3 Ways of Avoiding & Treating Soccer Injuries with Chiropractic Care


Soccer is one of the most popular team sports in the United States, and offers an excellent form of exercise to children and adults alike. Unfortunately, the nature of the sport, the repeated movement and the chance of collision, add up to quite a few opportunities for injury.

Lower and upper extremity injuries, overuse injuries, and head, neck, and face injuries are commonplace. According to Stanford Children’s Health, 88,000 children 8-14 were treated in an emergency room for soccer-related injuries.

Soccer players who take certain precautionary measures decrease their chances of injury. Let’s look at three ways you can avoid injury as a soccer player:

#1: Use proper equipment.

Donning proper fitting cleats, uniforms, and shin guards decrease the risk of being hurt in the first place. Make adjustments often, especially if the player is growing rapidly or fluctuates in weight.

#2: Get checked out by a chiropractor pre-season.

Soccer players who allow their fitness less to lapse increase the chance of injury. Visit a Doctor of Chiropractic to ensure there are no underlying issues with participating in strenuous activity. A chiropractor is also able to make sure the spine is aligned and muscles and joints are strong and functioning properly.

#3: Pay attention to the surroundings.

A field that is not kept up well offers a greater chance of turning an ankle or falling. It’s vital to check out the playing area beforehand and note any uneven areas that could cause a player to trip.

In addition, consider the weather. Muddy, slick fields create extra issues, and particularly hot temperatures make players run the risk of dehydration or heat stroke. Prepare for weather issues in advance of the game.

If, even though you take all of these precautions, you still end up injured, there are several options for treatment. The injury is hopefully mild and heals on its own after a few days of rest. More serious injuries require a doctor visit, and one of these three treatments.

First, ice and elevate it. Keep weight off the injured area as much as possible, and elevate it with pillows. Use an ice bag wrapped in a towel to keep down swelling and inflammation. If the injury is painful, over the counter medication helps reduce discomfort.

Then, take a break: the last decision you want to make is to begin playing too soon and re-injure yourself. With more serious injuries, sitting out of a few games, or even an entire season, is a choice that promotes healing and health. Talk to your Fort Collins Chiropractor about the timeframe the injury needs to be able to recover correctly, and follow his advice.

Finally, keep your chiropractic adjustments. Dr. Mike Kleker is trained in treating the neuro-musculoskeletal system as a whole. Many of the injuries suffered from soccer show an improvement after a few chiropractic visits.

Spinal and joint alignment, muscle healing, and tendon relaxation are all techniques chiropractors employ to promote and hasten healing. Additionally, chiropractors give insight on valuable ways to use nutrition and exercise to keep the body functioning at optimum capacity, to avoid re-injury.

Enjoying physical activity is essential to maintain a routine that provides a healthy, active lifestyle, and joining a soccer team is a great choice for children as well as adults. Knowing the advance precautions to put in place to avoid injury will help keep you strong and safe.

If, however, you or your child end up hurt, these forms of treatment will lessen healing time and get you back in the game at full speed. So give us a call at (970) 377-1775 to schedule your next appointment before you get back out on the pitch.

8 Wonderful Ways A Healthy Diet Benefits Your Life


It’s hard to turn on the television or cruise the internet without being bombarded with headlines about how the majority of American’s don’t get enough sleep or how one-third of adults are obese.

While stress, heredity, and smoking are all factors that play into a person’s well being, one of the biggest is a healthy diet. Choosing to eat healthy benefits the body in a number of key areas. Still gobbling up the pizza and slurping down the diet soda, unconvinced? See if these eight points about a healthy diet change your mind.

1. Strengthens and improves muscle function.

Healthy muscles carry us where we want to go. A healthy diet, along with proper exercise, can build and maintain muscle mass, which helps us to maintain strength and mobility.

2. Promotes a longer life.

Feeding your body what it needs can add years to your life. Reducing stress is one way to promote health, and a healthy diet is another. Foods rich in minerals and vitamins build up every cell in your body, preparing it to fight illness and stay alive longer.

3. Enables richer years.

An individual who is healthy maintains a higher level of physical activity and brain function than their less healthy peers. A stronger body provides a richer life with unique experiences.

4. Can make you look younger.

If you won’t eat healthy for your insides, maybe a better outside will motivate some dietary changes. We all want to be physically attractive. Healthy foods contribute to clear skin and shiny hair that no amount of high priced beauty products provide. Fueling the body with rich omega fatty and other healthy foods nourishes skin, hair, and nails.

5. Makes you smarter.

Research shows certain dietary choices power up your brain to function at a higher level and help everyday brain function. Adding certain “brain foods”, such as blueberries, walnuts, and salmon into your diet help increase memory retention and problem-solving skills. This is one of the best reasons to commit to a healthy diet of vitamin-rich foods, as a healthy brain allows a much more active and independent lifestyle, from working longer to being able to continue driving.

6. Decreases your injury risk.

A high-functioning body with strong bones and muscles maintains balance, handles heavy loads, and holds up under stress better than its weaker counterparts. Muscles and bones lacking calcium and protein over time grow weaker.

This, unfortunately, causes the body to be less stable and more prone to injury. Falls, slips, and twists end up with more serious injuries if a person’s body isn’t strong and healthy.

7. Fights bad genes.

If you are already worried about cancer that runs on mom’s side or the heart attack risk that runs on dad’s side, take heart. While you can’t change your DNA, you can use a healthy diet to combat some of your genetic disposition to disease.

Ingraining a healthy diet into your life, as well as exercise and regular chiropractic treatment, helps minimize the risk of falling victim to your family’s predisposed illnesses.

8. Prepares you to fight illness.

A nutrient-rich diet boosts a person’s immune system to be able to fight off infection and illness. When a person falls victim to a disease, virus or other medical condition, their diet can help them fight it off so they get healthier faster.

A healthy diet is integral to a long, happy life. Deciding to eat healthy and maintain that commitment consistently may seem like a big change in lifestyle at first, but it will benefit you and your loved ones in ways that are practically immeasurable. If you would like further information on how a healthy diet can help increase the benefit of chiropractic care, call your Fort Collins Chiropractor today at (970) 377-1775.

How Chiropractic Care Works Wonders on Baseball Injuries


Baseball, the nationwide pass time, heats up in summer. From little league on up, individuals enjoy swinging the bat and running the bases. Unfortunately, the movements baseball requires can wreak havoc on a person’s body, leaving them with strained backs, hurt shoulders, and pulled muscles. According to recent studies, there are over 600,000 injuries from playing baseball per year, and people who are between the ages of 5-14 years old suffer from 117,000 of them.

The aspects of the game — running, sliding, twisting, and jumping — cause the body to maneuver into awkward positions. If you or a loved one has slid into first and felt a pop, or twisted to catch a fly ball and felt a snap, chiropractic care offers several ways to help put you on the road to a complete recovery.

Manage pain.

Baseball injuries frequently involve large muscles, resulting in a high degree of pain. Chiropractic treatment offers relief from severe pain of many injuries involving the spine, muscles, and joints.

Using spinal adjustments, your Fort Collins Chiropractor is able to help the body align itself properly, and sooth the injured area. Once the body functions normally, pain is diminished. Sometimes this can be accomplished in one visit, while other injuries require a few sessions before pain diminishes.

Increase mobility.

A strained neck, pulled back, or overextended knee may cause the individual serious issues in being able to move. Limping around slowly is nobody’s idea of fun!

Chiropractic adjustments are proven to help reduce inflammation and improve mobility in many injury cases. If that last baseball game has you unable to put weight on your knee, your neck won’t twist without pain, or your shoulder won’t lift your arm, it may be time to visit your Northern Colorado Chiropractor for evaluation.

Promote healing.

The premise of chiropractic care is to treat the entire body as a whole, not just the injured part. As the body becomes better aligned, it functions at a higher capacity, and begins to heal itself.

Most injuries resulting from playing baseball, such as tendonitis, strained muscles, torn rotator cuffs, and the like, heal faster with chiropractic care. Increased blood flow to the injured area, and less pressure on the body part (usually due to misalignment of the spine) allow the injured area to regenerate, and a greater chance to begin healing faster than without chiropractic care.

Avoid overusing medication.

Even over-the-counter pain and anti-inflammatory drugs cause side effects in certain individuals. Allergies, stomach issues, and other reasons result in many injured people steering clear of prolonged use of medication to relieve pain and inflammation.

Chiropractic care provides these individuals a drug-free, less invasive way to help manage the pain and promote healing. More people every year are choosing to visit a chiropractor for pain relief instead of popping pain medicine.

Before jumping into a baseball game, or even if you or your children play regularly, remember that prevention is worth its weight in gold. Take care of your body by stretching beforehand, being aware of your physical limits, maintaining proper posture, and staying hydrated during the game. With a little extra effort, the chance of a baseball injury can be dramatically decreased.

Summer fun often includes activities such as baseball, whether in a league or in your back yard with your family. Avoid suffering from an injury as best you can, and, if you or your child end up with an achy knee, twisted elbow, or smarting shoulder, call Dr. Mike Kleker at (970) 377-1775 to schedule a thorough evaluation as quickly as possible.

6 Easy Ways to Stay Hydrated This Summer


Summer fun means outside activities in the warm sun, from strenuous pursuits like biking, hiking, and volleyball-playing, to more leisurely enjoyments like sunbathing on a float. No matter how you plan to enjoy the steamy summer months, drinking water and staying hydrated should be just as important as applying sunscreen on your list of important hot weather priorities.

Dehydration is a condition that ranges from mild to serious, and can happen quicker than you think. Dehydration is an abnormal condition in which the body’s cells are deprived of an adequate amount of water. One of the main situations factoring into a person becoming dehydrated is heat.

Think you drink enough water and don’t need to worry about dehydration? Consider these points:

The ability to recognize thirst diminishes in individuals in their late 30’s or older.
A person’s body is made up of roughly 70% water. When you lose 2% of the body’s water content, you are considered dehydrated.

Dehydration symptoms range from unpleasant confusion, muscle weakness, and fatigue to extremely dangerous ones like seizures, kidney failure, and death. The good news is that staying hydrated in the first place is relatively easy if you take a few precautions up front.

#1. Drink plenty of water.

Make it a habit of carrying water with you during the summer months, and sipping on it throughout the day, especially if you are planning on outside activities. Invest in a couple of BPA-free water bottles for yourself and your family to tote with them on their summer adventures.

Not a big fan of plain water? Try adding lemon, cucumber, and mint sprigs to liven it up! Mix up in a big pitcher the night before so the flavor has time to penetrate. Another option is flavor packets, which are individual packets of flavors like green tea, watermelon, and peach.

#2. Eat the right foods.

Liquids aren’t the only way your body gets water. Avoid dehydration by eating foods with a high water content.

Choices like celery, watermelon, cucumbers, carrots, and citrus fruits all offer exceptional hydrating ability. Pack these as snacks for the pool or beach, or to enjoy before and after an outdoor workout.

#3. Steer clear of certain drinks.

As refreshing as an icy, cold beer or frosty margarita tastes, alcohol can contribute to dehydration. If you decide to indulge, limit yourself to one or two, and drink a large glass of water along with your beverage to counteract the alcohol’s effects.

#4. Avoid overexertion.

Exercise is a wonderfully healthy pursuit; however, keep an eye on the temperature. If it is going to be exceptionally hot and humid, choose to exercise either early in the morning, or after sunset, when temperatures are lower and the sun isn’t beaming.

#5: Wear proper attire.

Dress in light, airy clothing in fabrics that breathe. Protect your head with a cap or hat that shades your face. Avoid black clothing, which tends to absorb the sun and make you hotter.

#6: Be prepared.

Extreme heat makes everyday issues like a flat tire or dead battery life-threatening. Visit a mechanic to confirm your vehicle is in good shape to lessen the chances of getting stranded. Carry extra water or sports drinks in your vehicle, and keep your cell phone charged. If your car breaks down, either stay in your car to wait for help, or stand in the grass instead of on the sizzling pavement.

Staying hydrated is essential for good health all the time, and during the summer in particular. Implement these easy tips into your daily routine so you and your family maintain hydration and enjoy hot weather outdoor fun. Your Fort Collins Chiropractor is always available for a free consultation on how to live life to the healthiest. Call us today at (970) 377-1775.

Ready! Set! Splash! Six Tips to Help Stay Safe At the Pool this Summer.

School is out, and the cool, fresh water of the local swimming pool awaits beckoning.
However, there are elements of summer swimming activities that can end up causing harm to children and adults alike. It’s important to take a few key precautions when enjoying a day at the pool this summer. Doing so will minimize the risk of the summer laughter turning to tears.

Here are six bright ways for adults and children to stay safe at the pool this summer.

#1: Enroll in swimming lessons.

Playing in the water is a fun, refreshing activity, but can turn dangerous quickly. According to the Red Cross, the single biggest precaution to take to ensure summer safety is to make sure your children are able to swim. Book age appropriate swimming lessons for your children as young as possible.

#2: Avoid spills with water shoes or rough bottom sandals.

Nothing brings a playful pool day to a screeching halt like a slip and fall on the side of the pool. This goes for you, too, Mom and Dad!

Bare feet offer no traction on wet and slick concrete, and falling can cause serious accidents that require stitches, casts, and even chiropractic visits. Make it a rule to wear water shoes or sandals around the pool at all times.

#3: Take measures to fight off swimmer’s ear.

Swimmer’s ear is a common condition that is brought on by water remaining in the ear canal, allowing germs to grow.

The CDC reports that this condition results in an astonishing 2.4 million doctor visits every year. Guard against this by teaching your children to tilt each side of their heads toward the ground to drain their ears, and to dry their ears thoroughly with a towel every time they get out of the pool.

If you or one of your little swimmers experience ear pain after a pool day, take them to the doctor as soon as possible to begin treatment.

#4: Beware of little critters.

Hot days and bare skin are too much temptation for bees, mosquitoes, and ticks. Bites from these creatures range from itchy to extremely serious. Ward them off with bug spray, or sunscreen with insect repellent.

Ticks, in particular, are dangerous. If you or your child gets bitten by a tick, remove it promptly and clean the area thoroughly.

#5: Be cautious of overdoing it.

A day at the pool can be a blast for the young ones, but wagging the cooler and lawn chairs back and forth to the pool can exhaust an adult, causing injury. Remember to lift heavy items with your legs, and don’t overload yourself. An extra trip to the car is worth it to avoid a neck or back strain.

#6: Prepare for disaster.

Okay, that is a little melodramatic, but it pays to be prepared in the event of an emergency. Pack a small kit with alcohol, tweezers, bug bite cream, and bandages. Keep the kit in your car or pool bag. Better safe than sorry.

Pool days are a big part of the hot summer months, and are usually lazy and enjoyable. Keep them that way by taking these six tips to heart and talking to your children about the pool rules. With a little preparation up front, the chance of fun-dampening or dangerous instances happening to your family will be greatly minimized. And if you do have a fall or injury while swimming, be sure to call your Fort Collins Chiropractor at (970) 377-1775 for a free consultation.