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Is Your Back Ready for Back To School?

Monday, August 26th, 2013

Does your child carry a backpack to School? I am not a betting person, but I am willing to bet that you answered “Yes”!  Backpacks are a practical way to carry schoolbooks and supplies. When used correctly, they are a good tool; they are designed to distribute the weight of the load among some of the body’s strongest muscles. However, backpacks that are too heavy or are carried incorrectly can injure muscles and joints, leading to severe back, neck, and shoulder pain, as well as posture problems. According to Dr. Scott Bautch, a member of the American Chiropractic Association’s Council on Occupational Health, a recent study conducted in Italy found that the average child carries a backpack that would be the equivalent of a 39-pound burden for a 176-pound man, or a 29-pound load for a 132-pound woman. Of those children carrying heavy backpacks to school, 60 percent had experienced back pain as a result.

Overloaded backpacks used by children have received a lot of attention from parents, doctors, school administrators and the media in the past several years. The problem has become so widespread, in fact, that the California State Assembly passed legislation that would force school districts to develop ways of reducing the weight of students’ backpacks. Similar legislation is being considered in New Jersey as well. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission there were more than 21,000 backpack-related injuries treated at hospital emergency rooms, doctor’s offices, and clinics in the year 2003.

So what can you do to help protect your child’s back this school year?

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends that a child’s backpack should weigh NO MORE than 10-15% of a child’s weight (this figure varies depending on the child’s body strength and fitness).  So for a 60 pound child their backpack should way no more than 6-9 lbs. You can tell if your child’s backpack is too heavy if he or she changes their posture by leaning forward to support the weight on his or her back rather than on the shoulders, by the straps; if they struggle when putting on or taking off the backpack; if they have pain when wearing the backpack; they experience tingling or numbness; and/or if they have red marks from the backpack.

In addition to the weight limit of the backpack, the ACA offers the following tips to help prevent the needless pain that backpack misuse could cause the students in your household.

  • The backpack should never hang more than four inches below the waistline. A backpack that hangs too low increases the weight on the shoulders, causing your child to lean forward when walking.
  • A backpack with individualized compartments helps in positioning the contents most effectively. Make sure that pointy or bulky objects are packed away from the area that will rest on your child’s back.
  • Bigger is not necessarily better. The more room there is in a backpack, the more your child will carry-and the heavier the backpack will be.
  • Urge your child to wear both shoulder straps. Lugging the backpack around by one strap can cause the disproportionate shift of weight to one side, leading to neck and muscle spasms, as well as low-back pain.
  • Wide, padded straps are very important. Non-padded straps are uncomfortable, and can dig into your child’s shoulders.
  • The shoulder straps should be adjustable so the backpack can be fitted to your child’s body. Straps that are too loose can cause the backpack to dangle uncomfortably and cause spinal misalignment and pain.
  • If the backpack is still too heavy, talk to your child’s teacher. Ask if your child could leave the heaviest books at school, and bring home only lighter hand-out materials or workbooks.
  • Although the use of rollerpacks – or backpacks on wheels – has become popular in recent years, the ACA is now recommending that they be used cautiously and on a limited basis by only those students who are not physically able to carry a backpack. Some school districts have begun banning the use of rollerpacks because they clutter hallways, resulting in dangerous trips and falls.

If a child complains of back pain, parents should consider that it might be due to the backpack or perhaps something more serious. Further investigation is warranted if a child complains of back pain, numbness in the hands, has back pain that persistently limits their activities, requires medications or alters sleep patterns.

Chiropractic Care Can Help…
If you or your child experiences any pain or discomfort resulting from backpack use, call Langford Chiropractic Clinic. The Doctors of Langford Chiropractic are licensed and trained to diagnose and treat patients of all ages. In addition, doctors of Langford Chiropractic can also prescribe exercises designed to help children develop strong muscles, along with instruction in good nutrition, posture and sleeping habits.


Test your joint knowledge with the Joint Health Quiz!

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

1) Which are the most commonly injured joints?

a)  Ankles, spine, knees & shoulders

b) Hips, Fingers, Wrists

c) Toes, Elbows, and Shoulders


2)  Are the Hips ball-and-socket joints:

a) Yes

b) No


3)  Are the knees ball-and-socket joints?

a) Yes

b) No


4) Which of the 2 fluids help to reduce friction and nourish joints: “synovial” or “Plasma”?

a) Synovial

b) Plasma


5) How many of the following should we pursue for joint health?

a) Proper nutrition

b) healthy exercise program

c) more sitting

d) a healthy lifestyle


6) What are the 2 parts of a spinal disc: tendons and ligaments or annulus fibrosus and nucleus pulposus?

a) tendons and ligaments

b) annulus fibrosus and nucleus pulposus


7) True or False – Movement brings nutrients to the cartilage that lines most joint surfaces?

a) True

b) False


8) Which is correct?

a) Most joints have no white blood cells

b) Most joints have no blood supply


9) How often should we stand up after sitting?

a) every 20 minutes

b) every hour

c) every 3 hours


10) How should we lift heavy objects?

a) by squatting and using our leg muscles

b) by bending over and lifting with our low back muscles


11) Which of the following is true? The body was designed to:

a) sit

b) sleep

c) move

How did you do? Check your answers on our Facebook page.

Education Requirements to become a Doctor of Chiropractic

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Educational requirements for doctors of chiropractic are among the most stringent of any of the
health care professions.
The typical applicant at a chiropractic college has already acquired nearly four years of premedical undergraduate college education, including courses in biology, inorganic and organic chemistry, physics, psychology and related lab work. Once accepted into an accredited
chiropractic college, the requirements become even more demanding — four to five academic years of professional study are the standard. Because of the hands-on nature of chiropractic, and the intricate adjusting techniques, a significant portion of time is spent in clinical training.
Doctors of chiropractic — who are licensed to practice in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and in many nations around the world — undergo a rigorous education in the healing sciences, similar to that of medical doctors. In some areas, such as anatomy, physiology, and
rehabilitation, they receive more intensive education than most medical doctors of physical therapists.

Like other primary health care doctors, chiropractic students spend a significant portion of their curriculum studying clinical subjects related to evaluating and caring for patients. Typically, as part of their professional training, they must complete a minimum of a one-year clinical-based
program dealing with actual patient care. In total, the curriculum includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical experience. The course of study is approved by an accrediting agency which is fully recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. This has
been the case for more than 25 years.

Before they are allowed to practice, doctors of chiropractic must pass national board examinations and become state-licensed. Chiropractic colleges also offer post-graduate continuing education programs in specialty fields ranging from sports injuries and occupational
health to orthopedics and neurology. These programs allow chiropractors to specialize in a healthcare discipline or meet state re-licensure requirements. This extensive education prepares doctors of chiropractic to diagnose health care problems, treat
the problems when they are within their scope of practice and refer patients to other health care practitioners when appropriate.
National Board of Chiropractic Examiners. “2005 Job Analysis of Chiropractic.”
Coulter, Ian. “A comparative study of Chiropractic and Medical Education.” Alternative Therapies, Sept.
1998. Vol. 4, No. 5
Parker Foundation. “How Well Educated is Your Chiropractor?”
American Physical Therapy Association. “Physical Therapist Education Programs.” Published January
The Grisanti Report.

American Chiropractic Association
1701 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington, VA 22209

Highland Fest 5K 2013 and Kids Fun Run!

Monday, July 1st, 2013

It’s not to late to register online for the Highland Fest 5K Walk/Run that is coming up on Saturday July 20th @ 9AM!

Join us for:

Health Partners/Highland Fest 5K Walk/Run

Saturday, July 20th

Kids Fun Run – 8:30am

5K Walk/Run 9am

The 30th Annual Highland Fest weekend will again be featuring the very popular 5K Walk/Run, on Saturday, July 20th, and registration is still open. Under what we just know will be blue skies and perfectly warm temperatures, runners will enjoy the same route as past years, along the scenic Mississippi River Blvd in St Paul. We truly appreciate our partnership with Health Partners this year, who’s staff will help volunteer at the race. Other long-time sponsors include The Nook, Shamrocks, Langford Chiropractic, Highland Grille, and Run ‘N Fun.

Conveniently located just south of Ford Pkwy on Mississippi River Blvd along the Mississippi River, our Start/Finish lines will be easy to spot, and easy to get to; Ford Motor Company is allowing us to have our participants park in their lot, despite ongoing demolition at the plant. Pick up your race bag at the registration table when you check in. Treats and goodie will be handed out at the end of the race. Runners are encouraged to head directly back up Ford Pkwy to enjoy the entertainment, food, Art Fair, Business Fair, Home Expo and other fun activities that make up Highland Fest.

Register for the Health Partners 5K Walk/Run at ( or at Online registration closes on Saturday July 6th.

13 Evidence-Based Medicinal Properties of Coconut Oil

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

While coconut oil has dragged itself out of the muck of vast misrepresentation over the past few years, it still rarely gets the appreciation it truly deserves.  Not just a “good” saturated fat, coconut oil is an exceptional healing agent as well, with loads of useful health applications.

Some examples of “good” saturated fat include

  • Fat-burning: Ironic, isn’t it? A saturated fat which can accelerate the loss of midsection fat (the most dangerous kind). Well, there are now two solid, human studies showing just two tablespoons a day (30 ml), in both men and women, is capable of reducing belly fat within 1-3 months.
  • Brain-Boosting: A now famous study, published in 2006 in the journal Neurobiology of Aging, showed that the administration of medium chain triglycerides (most plentifully found in coconut oil) in 20 subjects with Alzheimer’s disease or mild cognitive impairment, resulted in significant increases in ketone bodies (within only 90 minutes after treatment) associated with measurable cognitive improvement in those with less severe cognitive dysfunction.[i]
  • Clearing Head Lice: When combined with anise spray, coconut oil was found to be superior to the insecticide permethrin (.43%).[ii]
  • Healing WoundsCoconut has been used for wound healing since time immemorial.  Three of the identified mechanisms behind these healing effects are its ability to accelerate re-epithelialization, improve antioxidant enzyme activity, and stimulate higher collagen cross-linking within the tissue being repaired.[iii]  Coconut oil has even been shown to work synergistically with traditional treatments, such as silver sulphadizine, to speed burn wound recovery.[iv]
  • NSAID Alternative: Coconut oil has been demonstrated to have anti-inflammatory, analgesic and fever-reducing properties.[v]
  • Anti-Ulcer Activity: Interestingly, coconut milk (which includes coconut oil components), has been shown to be as effective as the conventional drug sucralfate as an NSAID-associated anti-ulcer agent.[vi]
  • Anti-Fungal: In 2004, 52 isolates of Candida species were exposed to coconut oil. The most notorious form, Candida albicans, was found to have the highest susceptibility. Researchers remarked: “Coconut oil should be used in the treatment of fungal infections in view of emerging drug-resistant Candida species.”[vii]
  • Testosterone-Booster: Coconut oil was found to reduce oxidative stress in the testes of rats, resulting in significantly higher levels of testosterone.[viii]
  • Reducing Swollen Prostate: Coconut oil has been found to reduce testosterone-induced benign prostate growth in rats.[ix]
  • Improving Blood Lipids: Coconut oil consistently improves the LDL:HDL ratio in the blood of those who consume it.  Given this effect, coconut oil can nolonger be dismissed for being ‘that saturated fat which clogs the arteries.’
  • Fat-Soluble Nutrient Absorption: Coconut oil was recently found to be superior to safflower oil in enhancing tomato carotenoid absorption.[x]
  • Bone Health: Coconut oil has been shown to reduce oxidative stress within the bone, which may prevent structural damage in osteoporotic bone.[xi] [Note: Osteoporosis is a Myth, as presently defined by the T-Score]
  • Sunscreen: Coconut oil has been shown to block out UV rays by 30%. Keep in mind that this is good, insofar as UVA rays are damaging to the skin, whereas UVB rays are highly beneficial (when exposure is moderate).[i]  Make sure to check this list of other sun-blocking oils.

Have you been adjusted lately? Great health begins at your spine

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

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Myths vs. Reality

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

There are myths about chiropractic care, methods, and doctors. Some myths may have dissuaded you from previously using chiropractic care. We would like to clear the air and help you determine myth from reality.

Myth: Treatment is expensive.

Reality:  total back care costs have been found to be lower for patients who received treatment (either initially or during the course of their care) from a chiropractor.

Myth:  It isn’t covered by insurance.

Reality: Chiropractic care for acute conditions is included in most  health insurance plans. Patients usually need to make a co-pay at the time of their appointment.

Myth:  Treatment is a lifetime commitment.

Reality: People who feel better after treatment usually do so after a few visits. If you are being treated for a specific problem, the treatment plan ends when the problem is resolved. If your problem is chronic, recurrent, or wish to avoid future problems, you may benefit from preventative care.

Myth: Chiropractors crack bones.

Reality: Some chiropractic techniques involve adjusting the spine or extremity joints. The opening of the joint space creates the “popping” sound sometimes heard during the adjustment. An adjustment does not affect the bones on either side of a joint and is completely safe.

Myth: Spinal adjustments hurt.

Reality: Most patients report not experiencing any discomfort in the process of the adjustment. The likelihood of initial soreness or increased pain after a chiropractic adjustment is similar to that of starting an exercising program.


Benefits of Chiropractic Care

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

*Doctors of Chiropractic are pioneers in the field of non-invasive care promoting science-based approaches to a variety of ailments with over 100 years history of safe and effective care.

*Doctors of Chiropractic are trained to identify neurological problems and find individual non-invasive treatment modalities. We can also assess your nutritional status and help you find the diet that will help you manage your condition.

*Typically, when a new patient visits a Doctor of Chiropractic, one of the first things the doctor will assess is functional capacity. The DC will focus on decreasing pain and returning the patient to normal daily activities, including exercise. In the intermediate stage, a chiropractor will continue therapeutic care, but also begin to address factors that may have led to the patient’s pain by recommending lifestyle modifications.

*Chiropractic care has also been shown to improve coordination and speed in athletes. Most professional sports teams have chiropractors on staff.

Biofreeze cold therapy for acute injuries?

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

Biofreeze_Roll-on_AnkleBiofreeze® is a popular over-the-counter pain reliever. While menthol (the active ingredient in Biofreeze) has been classified as a counterirritant providing pain relief, recent research has suggested the mechanism behind Biofreeze is related to the stimulation of cold receptors in the skin.

Dr. Robert Topp and his colleagues at Marquette University and the University of Louisville have spent several years researching the mechanisms behind Biofreeze in comparison to ice (Olive et al., 2010Topp et al., 2011Topp et al., 2011). Ice is commonly used immediately after injury to reduce pain and swelling because of its vasoconstrictive effect, thereby reducing blood flow to the area of application. This decrease in blood flow is thought to slow the tissue metabolism of the injured area, thus sparing healthy tissue and reducing swelling. Ice is thought to decrease pain through a counterirritant effect (the Gate Control theory) and subsequent increase in pain threshold, although ice is relatively painful at first application before numbness sets in.

Dr. Topp and his colleagues recently investigated the effects of 3.5% topical menthol (Biofreeze gel) to ice, as well as a combination of both, on blood flow and discomfort. 19 subjects had the treatments applied to their right forearm on different days: Biofreeze, Ice Bag, or Biofreeze + Ice. Blood flow was measured at the radial artery in the wrist using high-resolution ultrasound at 5 minute intervals after application for 20 minutes. The researchers also measured discomfort on a 10 point scale.

All 3 conditions significantly decreased blood flow over 15 minutes after application:

  • Ice: 20% to 24% decrease
  • Biofreeze: 17% to 24% decrease
  • Biofreeze + Ice: 36% to 39% decrease

After 20 minutes, only the Biofreeze + Ice (-38%) and ice alone (-27%) treatments exhibited significant reductions in blood flow. Discomfort was significantly less using Biofreeze than in the 2 ice conditions throughout the 20 minute application.

Based on their findings, the researchers believe that menthol reduces blood flow through a spinal reflex, which may account for a rapid decrease in blood flow after application. They also noted the nervous system was quick to adapt to the menthol application, accounting for the short-lived (15 minute) reduction in blood flow. In contrast, ice requires 15 to 20 minutes to evoke a maximal effect on reducing blood flow. Interestingly, combining ice and Biofreeze resulted in the largest and most sustained decrease in blood flow.

Dr. Topp and his colleagues concluded that menthol and ice reduce blood flow through different mechanisms, and when combined, have an additive effect. The difference in discomfort between the initial application of ice and menthol also supports the theory of different mechanism behind their action.

The researchers concluded that menthol can be used immediately post-injury “to initiate reduction in blood flow, which can be enhanced when ice is added.” Furthermore, topical menthol produces less discomfort with application, which may provide more immediate pain relief after an acute injury compared to ice application. When ice is not immediately available, Biofreeze is an excellent choice to reduce pain and initiate vasoconstriction, which is indicated immediately after an acute injury.

Disclosure: This study was supported by Performance Health

REFERENCE: Topp R, Ledford ER, Jacks DE. 2013. Topical menthol, ice, peripheral blood flow, and perceived discomfortJ Athletic Train. 48(2):220-225.

Visit the Biofreeze Learning Portal here

Lead by Example!

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Chiropractic is just as important for children as it is for adults. The habits they form now can affect the rest of their lives. Here are some tips about how to implement good back health in your child’s daily life. As a parent, you should lead by example and take note of these guidelines:


*Backpack Control


Posture – As they spend more time in front of computers and playing games in front of the television, it becomes clear that some children are developing poor posture. Follow the advice below to help you take control of their posture and habits at an early age.

SIT UP: An adjustable chair with an armrest will shift their weight closer to the center of their spine and allow them to sit up higher. Keep the monitor at eye level to avoid leaning forward to focus on the screen.

TAKE BREAKS: Teach your children to take breaks and get up and move around regularly. Sitting in one position is never good for circulation, and blood flow must continue in order to prevent aches.

GO OUTSIDE: Try to get them interested in outdoor sports that promote strong back muscles and posture.

SLEEP TIGHT: Ensure your children sleep on low pillows so their necks are not needlessly strained.  It is helpful to teach kids to sleep on their backs instead of their sides so their spines remain straight.

KEEP A HEALTHY BALANCE: Make sure your kids get enough calcium, which is essential for healthy bones and reduces the risk of joint and muscle-related injuries. Avoid sugar-loaded, caffeinated and carbonated drinks.


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